Back to the Blog

How Does Telehealth Affect Skilled Nursing?

Posted: June 21, 2021

The emergence of telehealth platforms has fast forwarded due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and an instant connection with skilled doctors is quickly becoming an in-demand service for both skilled nurses and their patients. Skilled nursing facilities are beginning to distinguish themselves from the competition in terms of hiring by advertising their use of telehealth technology. It's no secret that these facilities struggle with retention and inadequate staffing, causing nurses to feel overworked and burnt out. Connecting nurses with the supportive expertise and guidance of telehealth professionals alleviates some of these issues, increasing staff morale and patient outcomes.

Most Common Uses for Telehealth

The most common use for telehealth in skilled nursing is preventing unnecessary rehospitalizations. This is done by enabling a skilled doctor to remotely monitor a patient’s clinical status, guide the nurse through in directive care, and take proactive measures to improve and stabilize vitals. Nurses trained in the where and when of telehealth can often get ahead of clinical deterioration in the patient’s status before it worsens, utilizing peripheral medical devices on the telehealth cart to relay important information to the hospitalist for analysis and swift diagnosis. Real-time audio-visual capabilities connect nurses with a guiding hand in any situation that requires it.

More Direct Care

With more treatment occurring at skilled nursing facilities, nurses will be more directly involved in managing the patient’s care. Your nurses can operate with confidence, knowing that an instant lifeline is available to support them and their patients at any time. As nurses continue partnering with telehealth specialists in a variety of scenarios, their assessment skills grow, and they become even more self assured. If it’s determined that rehospitalization is necessary, the telehealth platform can remotely coordinate with the facility to make transfers more seamless.

Telehealth isn’t just an emergency lifeline, it's a tool for day-to-day care and promoting wellness through remote patient monitoring. It means another professional is in your patient’s corner helping to take the strain off your nurses and staff by supporting efficient care solutions, thereby reducing patient turnover. Less turnover leads to a more manageable workflow, and nurses that are energized and ready to operate at their best. Most encounters between nurses and telehealth providers concern daily routine care management. The instant connection is an ever present resource that adds up to a much more preventative, proactive mode of operation.

Telehealth is the New Normal

Telehealth in skilled nursing facilities means patients will no longer have to wait for the doctor to answer their questions or address their concerns. Both the pace and the quality of care are vastly improved, elevating the experience for staff and patients. With telehealth’s increasing adoption across the industry, those facilities that opt out of its convenience for cost concerns may find themselves left behind, as telehealth is becoming the new normal. Once a facility has been exposed to the many benefits of a telehealth platform and has seen the effect it can have on their staff’s morale, there’s no going back to the old way of ringing up the on-call doctor in the middle of the night.

Contact Let’s Talk Interactive today to begin implementing a telehealth program in your skilled nursing facility.