The Importance of Initiating a Telemedicine Visit: Knowing When to Act

Curve Health
August 10, 2023
The Importance of Initiating a Telemedicine Visit: Knowing When to Act

Recognizing the opportune moments to initiate a telemedicine visit is crucial. 

In today's fast-paced world, telemedicine has emerged even further as a game-changing healthcare solution to effectively impact the cost and quality of care. Understanding the critical moments when to initiate a telemedicine visit is of paramount importance. 

This innovation has become especially valuable in skilled nursing facilities, where residents require specialized, timely and attentive care. By incorporating virtual care into your practices, nurses and clinical staff can enhance their ability to respond promptly and effectively to various critical scenarios, including: falls, abnormal labs, changes in vitals, condition fluctuations, medication needs, after-hours admissions, and addressing resident or family concerns. 

In the realm of healthcare, timeliness can be a matter of life and death. Telemedicine empowers medical professionals to act proactively in various scenarios. By initiating a virtual visit when necessary, nurses can ensure rapid response times, obtain expert opinions, and facilitate comprehensive care for patients; all as a supplemental support layer that complements in tandem the work they do at the bedside. 

In this blog, we will uncover the specific scenarios and explore how telemedicine can be an essential tool for improving resident care and safety. 

The Right Time to Initiate

Fully and effectively embracing telemedicine is not just a matter of convenience; it is a pivotal step towards revolutionizing healthcare delivery and improving the lives of those in skilled nursing facilities. 

  • Accidental falls are a common occurrence among elderly residents in SNFs and require immediate attention. Telemedicine allows nurses to quickly assess the situation through virtual consultations with physicians, enabling timely advice on injury evaluation, medication adjustments, or potential transfer to a hospital. Real-time video conferencing can facilitate discussions with residents, staff, and families, leading to more informed decisions and reducing the risk of complications arising from delayed care.
  • Abnormal lab results demand swift action. When faced with abnormal lab results, nurses may feel the need for specialist consultation. Telemedicine can bridge the gap, facilitating direct communication between nursing staff and physicians or specialists. This allows for in-depth discussions about test interpretations, appropriate interventions, and necessary follow-up measures, ensuring that residents receive the best possible care for their specific health conditions.
  • Sudden changes in vital signs can indicate underlying health issues that require immediate attention. Telemedicine platforms enable nurses to remotely share real-time data with healthcare providers. Physicians can assess the situation promptly and guide nurses on the appropriate course of action, such as medication adjustments or the need for emergency intervention. By fostering collaboration between healthcare teams, telemedicine ensures comprehensive and coordinated care for residents.
  • The ability to closely monitor residents' conditions is vital in SNFs, where health status can fluctuate rapidly. Telemedicine allows nurses to capture these changes early, providing an opportunity for timely interventions and preventing potential complications. Virtual consultations with physicians can lead to personalized care plans, reducing the risk of hospital readmissions and improving the overall quality of life for residents.
  • Managing medications and addressing pain effectively are crucial aspects of nursing care in SNFs. Through telemedicine, nurses can consult with pharmacists and pain management specialists, ensuring appropriate medication administration, and pain relief strategies. This technology also enables remote medication reconciliation, minimizing the risk of adverse drug interactions and medication errors.
  • When admitting new residents after regular business hours, telemedicine provides nurses with a lifeline to seek medical guidance when immediate in-person consultations are not feasible. Virtual assessments and consultations can help nurses make informed decisions about admission procedures, medication administration, and early care planning for the incoming resident.
  • Clear and timely communication between nurses, residents, and their families is vital for building trust and ensuring resident satisfaction. Telemedicine offers a platform for addressing concerns or answering questions promptly. Virtual appointments with physicians can also involve families in care discussions, fostering a collaborative and supportive approach to resident well-being.

Initiating a telemedicine visit at the right time is an invaluable tool that augments and empowers clinical staff to deliver timely, expert care to residents in various critical scenarios. By acting proactively, nurses can leverage telemedicine's potential to enhance patient outcomes, optimize treatment plans, and provide compassionate support to residents and their families. 

The Curve Health Difference: 

Adopting new technologies like telemedicine can be a big decision. However, there are several reasons why embracing a platform like Curve Health can be beneficial for your facility. Curve Health further enables and enhances the ability for  timely care, cost savings, revenue preservation, enhanced care coordination, and a way to future-proof your organization. 

  • Timely medical care without the need for transportation or arranging in-person visits is especially valuable for your population. With telemedicine, residents can connect with their healthcare provider conveniently, reducing barriers to care and ensuring they receive the attention they need, when they need it
  • Enhanced revenue acquisition through increased census, amplified PDPM reimbursement, site-of-service fees for telemedicine, and enhanced payment via the Value-Based Purchasing Program
  • Reduce healthcare costs and decrease unnecessary hospital readmissions. Regular check-ins and proactive monitoring lead to cost savings for both your facility and the healthcare system
  • Curve Health provides robust features for care coordination. You can securely share medical information, including electronic health records (EHRs) and diagnostic reports, with the patient’s healthcare provider. This promotes seamless collaboration between the facility's staff, primary care physicians, and specialists, ensuring comprehensive care plans are in place and reducing the chances of miscommunication or gaps in care

Embracing this technology now, you position your SNF as forward-thinking and adaptable to changing industry trends. As the healthcare landscape evolves, telemedicine will continue to become increasingly prevalent and integrated into various care settings. 

To learn more about Curve Health’s virtual care solution for SNFs, contact or schedule a demo now

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The Importance of Initiating a Telemedicine Visit: Knowing When to Act