As we welcome the new year and take stock of 2021, I’m excited to reflect on all of the developments we’ve seen when it comes to telehealth. Digital visits are now a standard practice for many providers that patients have eagerly adopted. While this service has certainly been beneficial for patient availability and social distancing, plenty of doctors and nurses still find themselves under intense pressure and tight schedules to address all patient needs and avoid delays in care. To that end, TriageLogic has been developing new products and features to help the medical community overcome these challenges.
Nurse Telehealth: Remote Patient Monitoring
Triaging patients’ symptoms and ensuring their safety during acute calls is the primary obligation of all telehealth nurses. TriageLogic’s nurse team now offers remote patient monitoring (RPM) services so that doctors can provide long-term care to their chronically ill patients and balance their in-office availability for others who need immediate attention.
How does this work? Once a patient is sent home with their device, our team regularly monitors all health information that it records. Nonclinical staff make sure that the device is being used properly and call the patient back if health data is not transmitting. Our nurses then review a patient’s recorded vitals, contact them if they notice any concerns, and ask the patient specific questions to determine if any physician intervention is needed (i.e., triage patients using protocols specific to the device). Physicians can also have our nurses use customized instructions and questions based on the needs of their practice. In short, our nonclinical and clinical staff are an extension of that practice, providing continuity of care for the patient and alleviating time constraints on the provider.
We’ve developed partnerships with vendors that can distribute these RPM devices, as well as provide education on their use and billing as needed. (See our most recent press release with Play-it Health.)
Along with reviewing patient data, our triage nurses can also verify a patient’s telehealth eligibility and schedule calls on a doctor’s behalf. This is all thanks to the latest updates to Schmitt-Thompson protocols, the gold standard for nurses on providing dispositions for patient care. Like our RPM services, our triage protocols can also be customized to reflect additional instructions that are specific to a practice, and our nurses can share written instructions and documents with patients when relevant.
Telehealth Software: Cybersecurity
Healthcare organizations are recognizing the need for heightened cyber defense in the wake of increased ransomware and malware attacks. Remote care can increase network vulnerabilities if users aren’t briefed on the risks involved with personal devices, weak passwords, and the improper disposal of sensitive information. It’s imperative that healthcare organizations educate their staff on the best practices for protecting patient data, implement physical safeguards on their network, and verify the cybersecurity of the vendors with whom they share their patient data. These services complement other best practices that telehealth nurses should already be using when it comes to avoiding delay of care, mitigating risk, and implementing liability protection.
Telehealth Triage Protocols: Hospice Care
According to Dr. David Thompson, “[m]any hospice programs are centralizing the management of their after-hours calls,” which means triage nurses need standardized, evidence-based guidelines to help them. His solution: newly released triage protocols that address these specific differences in dispositions, assessment questions, care advice, and background information. TriageLogic nurses can help hospice patients using this new set of protocols. You can read more about them in this Q&A.
2022 is a year of hope: to overcome COVID-19 to the point that it becomes endemic, rather than pandemic; to see stronger digital protections against the theft or loss of patient data; to improve continuity of care, triage, and better patient outcomes; and to support healthcare services in that pursuit of care. TriageLogic is proud of our accomplishments over the past year and the partnerships we’ve formed, and we’re excited to work with our clients to continue aiding in their success.
TriageLogic is a URAC-accredited, physician-led provider of top-quality nurse telehealth technology, remote patient monitoring, and medical call center solutions. Founded in 2007, the TriageLogic Group now serves more than 9,000 physicians and covers over 25 million lives nationwide.