Telemedicine Creates a Sustainable Staffing Solution for Critical Access Hospitals
The Struggles with the Conventional Process
Many hospitals, especially those in rural cities, struggle to find and retain, quality staff coverage for all shifts throughout the day and night. The Primary Providers are typically required by the hospital to rotate shifts to cover these undesirable hours, which leads to fatigue and burnout. Many times, as an incentive, Hospitals are forced to pay up to 25% higher rates in order to cover these shifts. As patient volume surges from night to night, this adds even more stress to the physicians already tired position. This is where mistakes happen and where a telemedicine service provider for the hospitals could come in handy.
Some overnight coverage requires single providers to cover more than one hospital at the same time. That provider may be awakened from their rest in their nearby home by a call. Their response time is the time it takes them to dress and drive to the hospital. After that call, the night may be quiet, they then return home, lay back down, only to be buzzed again to return. This lifestyle prevents full-time hospitalists from living a more normal or civilized routine throughout the week.
What Does Horizon Virtual Looks Like in Real Time?
Horizon Virtual is Your Solution
Horizon Virtual Flips the Conventional Staffing Process Upside Down
By providing a full-time off-site hospitalist, your staff can quickly and seamlessly off-load their patients to us anytime during contracted hours, which will allow primary care doctors to decompress and enjoy their morning, afternoon, or night without interruption. This greatly lowers the pressures placed on these providers and reduces stress and fatigue. It also shows commitment to their health from a Hospital’s leadership. When they return, they can be confident that the notes will be up to date and accurate with the developed treatment plan. Our service platforms are a proven means to reduce patient transfers because we provide large hospital expertise on-site to the remote location. Patients are admitted quickly with our telehealth solution provider, as our response times connect us to the patient within minutes. Quick access to diagnostics supports better patient outcomes and better treatment plans. The bottom-line impact is apparent, Telemedicine Hospitalists, also called a Doctor on Demand, are cost-effective and will show improvements on the bottom line immediately after implementation.
Staff and Patients Alike are Embracing this Program.
Patients are reporting that though it seems futuristic and new, they feel like the telemedicine service provider for hospitals is less distracted and more focused on them. Patients also are reporting an appreciation for expert care without having to transfer several miles away. Nurses and supporting staff agree that patient interaction is excellent and are impressed with how immediate and detailed the patient’s notes are and how timely the treatment plans are updated. Day shift providers are able to get more sleep at night, allowing them to return to work refreshed and confident. These physicians are reporting that they have a higher quality of life and are feeling less stress at the workplace where fewer mistakes are happening as a result of less fatigue. The Hospital companies Executive team is reporting that it is saving overall costs and increasing the bottom line. They also are reporting an increase in physician moral as Horizon Virtual Services showcases the hospital’s commitment to offering the most up-to-date services and technology while remaining dedicated to maintaining a healthy workplace environment for staff.
Horizon Virtual Delivers Quality Patient Care
So how does it work? We leverage state-of-the-art technology and a network of products. Our Industry-leading and reliable telehealth platform delivers timely care to your patients without lessening the patient/doctor relationship. Devices are FDA approved for patient monitoring and able to facilitate rapid clinical care. The devices offer outstanding communication and viewing capabilities with state-of-the-art cameras and audio tools. In addition, our virtual system allows a remote connection to multiple diagnostic tools for “hands-on” functions.
Our Brand Promise
In other words, our telemedicine service delivers world-class healthcare to any hospital located anywhere in the United States. We promise to deliver an efficient and economical solution to your hospital’s physician staffing needs.
Common Questions Asked (FAQ)
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CONNECTIVITY & EQUIPMENT?
» Horizon Virtual provides the telehealth cart and all the equipment needed to set up in your critical access hospital. It is a turn-key operation which also includes training for all the on-site staff.
IS IT AN AS NEEDED SERVICE OR A SUBSCRIPTION?
» The type of service provided is subject to the census reports. Horizon Virtual performs a needs analysis prior to establishing contracts with any given hospital. We provide services through customized contracted hours, ie: 7pm-7am or 5pm-9am, providing coverage 365 days per year. Keep in mind, there must be a calculated need for our services throughout a specific rotation prior to a hospital reaching an agreement to hire Horizon Virtual.
HOW’S IT DIFFERENT THAN OTHER TELEHEALTH (E-CARE) SERVICES?
» We provide coverage for contracted hours and can cover multiple locations with one provider. Other E-Care telehealth providers do not typically assume care of the patient. Our care provides a hospitalist (board-certified internal medicine physician) that is qualified to admit the patient, take orders, review X-rays, MRI’s and other labs to create a care plan. Horizon Virtual physically sees and works with patients in an effort to provide local care to hometown patients.
WHAT IF A HOSPITAL IS ALREADY USING AN E-CARE TELEHEALTH SERVICE?
» No Worries. Litchfield Hospital is a great example of this. They have an E-Care Service in their hospital’s emergency unit and Horizon Virtual compliments that existing service.
HOW DOES THAT WORK FOR MEDICAL RECORDS AND BILLING?
» The Telehealth Hospitalist at Horizon Virtual is a credentialed & privileged physician on-staff, just like having an overnight doctor on staff. This is not a locum service. We integrate with nearly all EMR’s and our physicians receive continuous on-going education as well.
EMR ISN’T A CONCERN, PATIENT DICTATION IS A HIGHER PRIORITY FOR US.
» Telehealth services, such as Horizon Virtual, use Dragon Dictation to provide treatment plans and to update patient records quickly and in real-time. It is very important that these notes are readily available by the time the shift changes. Dictation is not a requirement, but 3rd party dictation services tend to slow the transition process down.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE SEND-OFFS / PATIENT TRANSFERS?
» Horizon Virtual is an independent company. We have no alliances or ties with any given association. Therefore, when a patient is not in critical need of care, we ask the patient where they would like to be transferred. If the patient does not have a preference, we follow the hospital’s standard protocol. If the patient is in critical need of a transfer, we transfer that patient to the nearest hospital.
WHAT IS THE COST TO PROVIDE TELEHEALTH SERVICES?
» It depends. (See Projected ROI Calculator) Our goal is to provide a service that is advantageous to reducing the number of patient transfers. Based on our experience, our service pays for itself each month. If your hospital retains 2-3 patients per month, our service fees are covered. To more directly answer the question, our costs are variable based on the hospital’s census and case mix index.