ClickCare Café

The Key Ingredient in Using Telemedicine in a LTC/SNF Setting

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Jul 20, 2017 @ 06:01 AM


At New York Presbyterian, the COO is taking on "respect."

The NEJM Catalyst published an interview with Dr. Laura Forese, who spoke about their new initiative. Their big goal was to cultivate teamwork across the continuum of care, and in surveying the clinicians and non-clinicians at their hospital, they kept hearing that individuals felt like respect was the missing ingredient to their teamwork. So the hospital, under Forese's direction, has been taking action to try to cultivate more respect across the hospital. The intention is certainly there. But when pushed for examples of how they are cultivating respect in the hospital, Dr. Forese gave one primary example: posting a respect credo throughout the hallways.

Many medical providers just gave a little internal eye-roll.

Sometimes it seems like administrators' primary strategy when it comes to almost anything is posting more signs. Not more training, not better tools, not more support, not refined processes -- more signs. 

I certainly agree with New York Presbyterian's goal. Teamwork in any setting is crucial, but in Long Term Care and Skilled Nursing Facilities (LTC/SNFs), teamwork is a matter of life and death on a moment to moment basis. Especially critical, the "team" in a LTC/SNF setting often includes providers across a broader continuum of care than in other settings -- aides, orderlies, housekeepers, families, PT, OT, specialists... the list goes on. 

What I don't agree with is New York Presbyterian's "too easy" approach to such an important topic.

So if the goal of improving teamwork, care coordination, and respect in LTC/SNF settings is valid, then what is the best approach to cultivate that?

We believe there is one key ingredient in improving teamwork in Long Term Care and Skilled Nursing Facility settings: working as a team.

Yes, it really is that simple, but it's not always easy. We get better at running, the more we run. We get better at surgery the more operations we do. And we respect each other more, and function better in care coordination and medical collaboration, when we work together as a team. 

That is precisely the impetus behind iClickCare. We believe that teamwork and collaboration has to be made efficient, fun, effortless, and efficient for healthcare providers to do it. It has to use technology that teams already have, and it has to include every care provider (even non-clinicians, when appropriate). Period.

The best way to improve teamwork is by working together as a team. And the best way to get providers and non-clinicians across your facility to work as a team is to give them the tools to do it in the course of their regular day. Everyone wants to show their colleagues respect -- the important thing is removing obstacles to that, not lecturing about its importance via laminated credos.

If you want to see examples of how telemedicine can drastically improve teamwork in a LTC/SNF setting, click here:

Transforming Long Term Care Through Telemedicine

Tags: telemedicine, medical collaboration, long term care, care coordination, skilled nursing facility, LTC/SNF

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