Why would Emergency Departments need to use Telemedicine?   It seems a little unusual to have an Emergency Department (ED) connected via Telemedicine when the ED is located at the hospital with different types of Physicians and specialists who are onsite.  The answer: more efficient coordination of care for the hospital and improved clinical outcomes.

Lets say Mary, our fictitious patient, has a much needed hip replacement at General Hospital.  Mary is 68 years old and has Medicare A as her primary and only insurance plan to cover her procedure.  After Mary has had a successful hip replacement, and has been cleared by her Physician, Mary will discharge to a Post-Acute care rehabilitation center.  Mary will spend the next few weeks working with Physical and Occupational therapists to master her new hip.  Along the way, Mary may have a change in condition that causes concern for the Post-Acute Nursing staff.  If this change in condition occurs in the evening over the weekend or even on a holiday, the Post-Acute Nurse will need to speak to a Physician for clinical guidance.  What happens if the Nurse is unable to connect with a Physician about the change in condition for Mary?  Normally, the Nurse has to follow their clinical judgment and call 911 to send Mary to the Hospital for further clinical evaluation by a Physician.  This is where the Telemedicine Connected Emergency Department can have immediate value to Mary, the hospital, and the Post-Acute care location.

If the Post-Acute care location had a Telemedicine solution in place and a partnership with the hospital ED, Mary may not have to be transferred via 911 to the hospital.  The Affordable Care Act introduced the Readmissions Reduction Program in 2012, which focuses on readmissions to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. An elective hip replacement happens to be one  of the diagnoses that is monitored in the Readmission Reduction Program.  General Hospital is required to submit clinical outcomes for Mary in the data that is sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  If Mary is sent to the Hospital and readmitted for her change in condition within 30 days of discharge, this has a negative impact on the clinical outcomes for General Hospital.  In addition this also has a negative impact on return to hospital outcomes for the Post-Acute care provider.  If only the Post-Acute care provider could have contacted General Hospitals ED to coordinate care and remotely assess Mary to prevent a readmission.

The Curatess Telemedicine solution was created to allow Physicians and Post-Acute care providers to coordinate care and treat patients in place.  Our CARE solution allows a Physician to see a patient in High Definition and Resolution with remote software controls for the Pan, Tilt, Zoom camera.  The CARE Telemedicine solution has a digital stethoscope that allows the Physician to listen to cardiac and respiratory sounds of a patient.  Curatess has proven results with over 1,200 retained patient days, 81% of our patients are not being sent to the hospital, and we have estimated over $6,000,000 in healthcare savings.

To learn more about Curatess and our CARE Telemedicine solution please contact us at 844-U-RETAIN (844-873-8246) by email at info@ConnectedforCare.com or visit our website at www.Curatess.com.