Standing up a telemedicine program in your facility is easier than you think
By Josh Hofmeyer, Vice President and General Manager of Senior Care and Dave Darr, Business Development Director of Senior Care
It is no secret: the Senior Care sector is facing a workforce shortage of enormous proportions. Long-Term Care facilities, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living Campuses – all are feeling the effects of staff burnout, a low available labor pool, and more.
COVID-19 only exacerbated the problem like gasoline on the fire, rapidly accelerating this troubling workforce trend. According to the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, skilled nursing and residential facilities lost 145,000 workers between December 2020 and December of 2021.
In all, since the beginning of the pandemic, the long-term care sector has lost more than 400,000 employees, causing facilities to limit new admissions. This, coupled with the fact that the Senior Care industry is one of the few healthcare sectors not rebounding as quickly for staffing, places an increased strain on the whole system.
What can be done? In addition to advocating for a massive federal investment into our senior care sector which would alleviate some but not all issues, organizations should strongly consider investing in a telemedicine solution. Here are four reasons why:
- Telemedicine is a turn-key solution that can begin to address staff burnout right away: Avel eCare is a 24/7 provider of Senior Care telemedicine services. Organizations who partner with us are up and running within two months or less and can take advantage of telemedicine’s benefits much more quickly than their counterparts without the service. The sooner your staff has access to our team of geriatric-trained experts, the sooner they can breathe a sigh of relief and feel an additional measure of support and assistance.
- You can save staff time and develop greater efficiencies: Common phrases you can hear repeated by senior care staff are “if only I had eight arms” or “if only there were two of me to complete the work.” Whether you manage a long-term care center, a skilled nursing facility, or an assisted living campus – your team has a lot of tasks that must be completed with a high degree of accuracy. These time-intensive duties -such as admission order entries and care plans – can quickly lead to burnout. It can also result in the inadvertent cutting of corners to try and make up lost time, which can have detrimental impacts on the quality of care and services delivered to residents. With Avel as a partner, your team can now offload those duties to our team of experts and be confident that the work will be completed in an efficient, timely, and accurate manner.
- You can save money: Yes, telemedicine represents an investment up front but, in the short term and long run, many of our partners experience cost savings. How? By minimizing the need to rely on expensive contracted employees. By treating in place and increasing census, and through other workforce and regulatory savings such as value-based purchasing programs. By reducing staff turnover and maximizing the efficiency of their local nursing teams and optimizing direct care for residents, ample opportunities exist. And, ultimately, by seamlessly integrating virtual care solution into their workflow so that their whole organization can benefit from telemedicine’s time savings and high-quality outcomes.
- Telemedicine provides long-term stability and support for your workforce and residents: The senior care sector and its employees are the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic. At Avel eCare, we witnessed every day the steps our partners took to go above and beyond to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their residents. We witnessed burnout first-hand, and we saw the effects of overwork and a lack of available resources. Let us be your partner in delivering care. Our team has been around the block. We understand the reality you are facing and are driven to be your partner in delivering care. Together, we can develop a long-term solution that will benefit your staff, residents, and community as a whole.
Telemedicine is not a panacea for all the challenges your organization faces, but it can serve as a cost-effective, and quality-driven solution that will reduce burnout, improve outcomes, and increase both staff and resident satisfaction. We know that Senior Care leaders have difficult decisions to make – with rising costs and dwindling resources – and telemedicine can help bridge the gap in delivering excellent care for residents while improving workforce challenges.
With minimal set-up time, you can soon have an industry-leading, multi-disciplinary team at your fingertips, ready to assist in whatever capacity your team needs. We can be your partner in care and more!
To learn more about how a telemedicine program specific to your challenges can help you retain staff or to schedule a free needs assessment consultation, contact my colleague Dave Darr, Business Development Director of Senior Care, at [email protected].