Telehealth can help seniors to manage chronic conditions in a variety of ways, particularly those that are bed-bound or who normally struggle to manage their own healthcare needs.
However, technology can ensure that seniors can access healthcare from anywhere in the world and that they are able to get the feedback that they need in order to stay healthier for longer.
Connect with Health Providers
It is not only seniors that telehealth can help, but also the carers that look after them. One of the best advantages of telehealth for senior citizens is that their carers are able to connect instantly with health providers in order to update them on their health or to get advice on how they should be caring for them. This can ensure that seniors are able to manage chronic conditions well by ensuring that they are in contact with professionals at all times, preventing any signs of a worsening condition from going unnoticed.
Use Biofeedback Sensors
Biofeedback sensors can also alert remote professionals to issues, even when they are not with the patient, which can help them to give their patients the best care possible. This means that seniors can easily go about their daily life without having to worry about their health issues, as they will be able to know that a health professional can be easily called if something goes wrong.
Tech innovations are improving senior care by breaking down data and communication silos. That’s important in normal times and infinitely more so during times of crisis, when clear, timely communication and flexible access to care become crucial to the health and well-being of senior care residents, staff, and family members.
Here’s a look at how four key technology innovations are improving senior care and how the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting strengths and shortcomings that fly under the radar during normal times.
1: Healthcare Systems that Talk to Each Other
A lot of senior living communities are excellent at delivering care but struggle with managing communications. And it’s no wonder: when you’re juggling multiple communication points for health records, medication administration, and communication (with staff, residents, and family members), it’s hard to keep everyone updated in ways that are both timely and HIPAA compliant.
That can be a pain point in the best of times; during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be dangerous.
High-risk residents may not be adequately isolated from social events, for example, if staff don’t see EHR updates in a timely fashion. Or a family member might miss an email about lockdown and visit a resident’s direct entrance, risking the spread of pathogens.
The good news is that technology that consolidates EHR, eMAR, and messaging into a single platform can streamline communications and eliminate the risks that result from missed messages and mixed signals. And these platforms don’t have to come with a months-long onboarding process; as part of our response to the current pandemic, we launched 280 communities onto our platform in just 10 days.
2: More Efficient Staff-to-Staff Communication
Too often, retirement community staff spend time documenting, reviewing, and tracking down messages from other shifts that they’d rather spend interacting with residents. Digital staff-to-staff communication platforms can eliminate that problem by facilitating communication.
For example, mobile apps can show highlights from a previous shift, including anything unusual or that requires attention. And because such apps are HIPAA-compliant and accessible from mobile devices, staff members can view key information before starting a shift, meaning they can hit the ground running each day – particularly important during crises, when policies and procedures might change from shift to shift.
Another key benefit of digital communication platforms is that they help ensure staff are accessible in case of an emergency, which can help keep everyone in a community healthy and safe. And because this tech makes it possible for messages to be conveyed fast, from anywhere, it helps reduce the total amount of time workers spend on communications and therefore maintain work-life balance.