The conversation around telehealth in the mainstream media has centered on direct-to-consumer use cases that allow providers to connect with patients at home – an invaluable resource during the pandemic. Meanwhile, however, telehealth use has also been quietly gaining momentum within inpatient care settings. As hospitals and health systems seek to overcome staffing challenges and meet the new demands of a rapidly evolving industry, hybrid care models that bring virtual workflows into bedside care have emerged, helping providers meet the challenges of both.
This trend was ever-present on the floor at the recent 2022 American Telemedicine Association (ATA) conference. This year’s gathering focused on “Creating Opportunity in a Time of Uncertainty.” In a recent conference recap article published by Healthcare IT Today, Caregility VP of Marketing Bryan Schnepf observed that ATA “sessions challenged attendees to reimagine telehealth beyond the transactional interactions we’ve come to know.” To illustrate the potential this poses for inpatient care, the Caregility team was on site to showcase the company’s new Inpatient Virtual Engagement solution.
Inpatient Virtual Engagement Makes Hybrid Care a Reality
Designed to improve both the patient and clinician experience, Inpatient Virtual Engagement offers health systems a cost-effective option for bedside hybrid care at scale – every room, every bed, every patient. Based on feedback from leading health system clients, the company saw a need for virtual resources that could expand the reach of limited clinical staff beyond high-acuity settings like the tele-ICU and extend across the healthcare enterprise. As healthcare teams battle the clinical staffing crisis, Inpatient Virtual Engagement can help reduce staff burnout by facilitating workflows such as virtual specialty coverage, tele-rounding, tele-nursing, and tele-sitting.
As Caregility President and COO Mike Brandofino noted in a recent article published by Health IT Answers, this type of hybrid care infrastructure addresses questions such as:
- What kind of care could be possible if an inpatient experience wasn’t constrained to overtaxed nurse/patient ratios?
- What might rounds look like if a clinical team could conveniently and efficiently reach patients scattered across the hospital without walking throughout a facility each day as they currently do?
- What happens if sitters are unavailable for patients that require supervision?
The company’s new Access Point of Care System (APS100) for lower-acuity patient settings is further leveraged by a subscription-based pricing model; centralized administration portal; and fleet management tool for governing and proactively monitoring thousands of telehealth endpoint devices. Hybrid care creates value by reducing clinical blind spots, improving patient coverage, and driving the speed of clinical intervention. Patients benefit from improved safety and engagement with their care team, interpreters, and loved ones during their inpatient stay, promoting patient wellbeing and positive outcomes.
Hybrid care, all the more essential given today’s staff shortfalls, lays important groundwork for successfully integrating patient experience expectations and clinical quality metrics. Caregility’s platform now supports incremental expansion and a broad range of EHR, clinical decision support, and smart medical device integrations. These support the full spectrum of inpatient settings (general acute care, specialty, rehabilitation, transitional, skilled nursing, memory care), as each considers its “hospital room of the future.”
Retail store clinics, convenience care, urgent care, outpatient providers, and integrated systems continue to compete for many of the same patients. Building on their unique economies of scale and care coordination, the integrated systems that can best plan, implement, and communicate their inpatient model, enabled by technology but delivered by caring humans, will maintain their competitive advantage. The use of remote observation and tele-nursing coupled with advanced EHR add-ons, while connecting levels and locations of care, is only the beginning of what Caregility’s evolving virtual care platform can help achieve.
Case in Point
Learn how SCL Health’s pivot to a system-wide virtual patient observation hub helped the health system reclaim CNA floor time, reduce patient falls, and set the stage for new tele-nursing initiatives. Read the case study here.
To speak with a Caregility specialist about hybrid care solutions for your health system, contact us today.