6 min read

Finding a Next-Generation Telehealth Plan of Action for Your Hospital [Part 2]

By Tim Hakamaki on Aug 03, 2020

This is part 2 of our 5-part blog series based on the webinar “The Next-Gen Communication and Telehealth Plan of Action for Your Hospital.” Check out part 1 here. Watch the corresponding section of the webinar below, or listen to the full webinar here. 

Over the last four months, COVID-19 has forever changed the landscape of healthcare. Telehealth has experienced explosive growth since March, creating groundbreaking changes in telemedicine regulations and reimbursement opportunities. Prior to four months ago, only a small minority of systems utilized telehealth in beyond three to five percent of their appointments. Since the start of COVID-19, telehealth has grown to millions of claims in less than a few months. According to a published stat, the number of Medicare beneficiaries using telehealth services during the pandemic increased 11,700%. 

Looking at a graph of telehealth’s "hockey stick" growth is astonishing. For many years, there was no substantial change. March 2020 marks the shift between the blue and red growth markers. Telehealth shot from near non-existence to millions of claims practically overnight. 

Topics: Communication Telemedicine COVID-19 Telehealth Reimbursement
7 min read

How Austin-Travis County Uses Pulsara to Manage the COVID Crisis & Beyond

By Kinsie Clarkson on Jul 29, 2020

As EMS agencies all over the country have struggled to handle COVID-19, many are searching for answers. How do we prepare for possible future waves of COVID-19? Outdated technology cannot keep up with the variety of new challenges. Is there a way to streamline communication and use mobile technology to solve problems and still deliver high-quality patient care? Could such a solution be flexible and scalable, able to handle any situation—even a pandemic?

When COVID-19 hit, Austin-Travis County EMS, serving the Austin, Texas area, had the tools at their disposal to build an efficient system to help mitigate the crisis. They embraced mobile technology in an effort to improve communication, minimize the risk of exposure to healthcare providers, and continue to provide patients with the smartest and most effective quality of care.

Topics: EMS Communication Connected Teams Community Paramedicine COVID-19 Client Success
5 min read

Finding a Next-Generation Telehealth Plan of Action for Your Hospital [Part 1]

By James Woodson, MD on Jul 24, 2020

This 5-part blog series is based on the webinar “The Next-Gen Communication and Telehealth Plan of Action for Your Hospital.” Watch the corresponding section of the webinar below, or listen to the full webinar here. 

Telehealth and telemedicine have gone through dramatic changes over the last four months, far more than many of us dreamed possible. Regulations and reimbursement are evolving rapidly, which has opened up the door to many new opportunities for using telehealth. Telehealth is helping us improve both the quality and the value of the care that we deliver to our communities. 

However, all this change will almost certainly have wide-reaching implications for your health system, especially in the acute care space. Over the next five posts in this series, we’ll discuss the rapidly shifting landscapes of telehealth regulations and reimbursement and how you can navigate them. We’ll also dive into some of the questions surrounding how to best leverage telehealth in the acute care space.

Topics: Communication Telemedicine COVID-19 Telehealth Reimbursement
2 min read

How Telemedicine Can Help in Rural Healthcare

By Wes Wood on Jul 22, 2020

I grew up and lived most of my life in a very rural area. The majority of my EMS and ED nursing experience comes from rural settings, including a few years in a small critical access hospital. I was the only nurse in the 5-bed ER on night shift. We even locked all the doors to the hospital, and if someone presented to the ER for care, they had to ring a doorbell so I could let them in. No really—we did.

My, how times have changed with technology and medical advances. The recent COVID-19 crisis has affected virtually every healthcare professional in some form or fashion, and has potentially changed healthcare forever. Telemedicine has emerged to the forefront as a valuable option for providing care: both acute and chronic, in person, and remote. It’s gone from being a distant future option hidden behind miles of red tape to being one of the hottest topics in healthcare today.

Topics: Communication Telemedicine Technology Telehealth
4 min read

Upcoming Webinar: Sharing Information & Data During a Pandemic

By Nathan Williams on Jul 13, 2020

COVID-19 continues to tax finite public safety resources, underscoring the need for efficient and effective information sharing tools. Since it appears as if the pandemic will be challenging us for the foreseeable future, take 60 minutes to explore how four FirstNet-approved apps and services (10-21 Police Phone, Pulsara, Rave PANIC Button, and Allerio) help agencies share critical information and engage with the community during these difficult times. 

When: Thursday, July 16, 2020 | 12:00 pm ET / 10:00 am MT / 11:00 am CT / 9:00 am PT

How: SIGN UP HERE 

Keep reading to learn more!

Topics: Communication Technology Innovation
4 min read

Embracing Rapid Change in Medicine

By Greg Brown on Jul 10, 2020

It is obvious to those in our industry that healthcare is preparing for a seismic shift in the way we deliver, access, and treat our patients. Unfortunately, it took a global viral emergency for that to happen. 

Periods of great stress can be a catalyst for periods of fantastic innovation. Just like a lump of coal, the tremendous pressure that healthcare has faced during COVID-19 will transform our delivery model into a diamond. Traditional pipeline methods of care delivery, communication, and treatment will undergo rapid changes and iterations of process improvement. With this incoming wave of change, it’s time to let our hair down a bit. I urge all clinicians not to limit yourself on what you think can and cannot be done. 

Topics: Communication Technology Innovation
2 min read

Risk Is Not Binary: Thoughts on the End of the Beginning of COVID-19

By James Woodson, MD on Jul 08, 2020

I recently read an article that interviewed doctors from San Francisco who volunteered to work on the front lines of the pandemic in New York. They warn that while many states are reopening and life seems in some ways to be returning to normal, it can be easy to forget that COVID-19 is still spreading and still deadly. Pandemic fatigue is setting in, but the fight is far from over. 

Topics: Communication COVID-19 Preparedness
2 min read

Longview Regional Medical Center Achieves Record STEMI Treatment Times (Case Study)

By Kinsie Clarkson on Jun 12, 2020

Longview Regional Medical Center (LRMC) has long had a well-designed and fully functioning process for identifying and rapidly treating STEMI patients. The hospital was meeting its goal of keeping door-to-reperfusion times under 60 minutes; as a result, patient outcomes were generally very good. Despite their satisfactory performance, the teams at LRMC believed they could reduce their treatment times even further to improve patient outcomes.

Topics: STEMI Press Communication Connected Teams Systems of Care Client Success
2 min read

Lessons in Care Coordination from a Kitchen Remodel

By Brittney Nelson, BSN, RN, SCRN on Jun 10, 2020

Right before shelter-in-place struck, my husband and I started remodeling our kitchen. It’s a relatively small kitchen, and we have done the majority of the work ourselves. Because of this, the number of people needed to complete the job was significantly smaller than if we had hired a contractor.

However, over the last few months I have grown increasingly frustrated by trying to coordinate communication between the small number of individuals required to finish the job! Between window installers, countertop installers, and tile installers, I have been making tons of phone calls trying to keep the ball rolling and ensuring everyone is lined up appropriately. It’s a lot of work keeping track of everyone, and it takes up a ton of time just to make sure everything will run like it’s supposed to.

You may be wondering how this relates to time-sensitive emergencies. Kitchen remodels are the polar opposite of time-sensitive emergencies in most ways — after all, they’re not at all life threatening or serious. But as I began to realize, they can be equally as frustrating in the coordination and communication department.

Topics: Communication Technology Connected Teams