Telementoring significantly improves skilled nursing care, a recent study reports.
Educating skilled nursing facility (SNF) staff members through virtual shadowing improves their geriatric expertise. This hands-on mentoring saves time and provides immediate positive feedback in real-time situations. The bottom line is that it’s a win-win situation for both staffers and aged residents.
Telementoring: A Natural Extension Of Telemedicine
Telemedicine came on the scene several years ago. It originally started as a way to treat patients located in remote places, far away from local health facilities or in areas of with shortages of medical professionals.
Today, it is entrenched as a important tool for convenient medical care. Today’s connected patient wastes less time in the doctors waiting room and can receive immediate care for minor but urgent conditions when they need it.
Telemonitoring is an extension of telemedicine. It allows skilled nursing staff members to stay sharp and updated with their skills. This is especially important to residents suffering from complex health issues.
Study results from sciencedirect.com shows increased competency in skilled nursing staffers with telemonitoring. Medical issues addressed were dementia, palliative medicine, and treatment of infections in senior citizens.
Researchers used the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) platform to guide and update staffers about geriatric care principles. This is done through a secure web-based videoconferencing technology.
Participants filled out surveys before and after the pilot program. There was significant improvement in geriatric know-how following the test. The two biggest barriers mentioned by SNF staffers was time pressures of caring for complex geriatric patients, and staff available to assist with social support needs.
The new monitoring system was a big plus.
“This is a great way to provide training… that can be accomplished without disrupting their workflow overly much,” said Katherine Thompson, M.D., study co-author and a geriatrician at the University of Chicago. She noted that SNF social workers and nurses are often …“overwhelmed.”