With the Delta variant causing a surge in COVID-19 admissions, hospitals are stretched to their limits. Nursing staff and bed availability are at all-time lows and seriously ill patients keep coming into maxed-out Emergency Departments.
The desire to care for patients is ingrained into every healthcare professional so how do they keep caring for patients when they don’t have the bandwidth? RPM can be the solution.
ICU bed shortages for COVID patients
States are reporting a record shortage of available intensive care beds. Some hospitals have been forced to transfer patients to other facilities, possibly hundreds of miles away from their friends and family. Others have had to turn ill patients away and hope that they don’t take a turn for the worse.
Nursing staff shortages
In addition to bed shortages, hospitals are facing historic nursing shortages. With the COVID-19 pandemic well into its second year, many nurses are experiencing burnout and opting to leave the profession. Long hours and the pain of watching patients succumb to the virus have taken a toll. The lack of qualified nurses puts additional strain, however, on hospitals. Even if they have the ICU beds to accommodate patients, they may not have adequate staff to care for them.
How RPM can help
As patients become seriously ill with COVID-19, their first thought is to head to the hospital, where the ED has to make some difficult decisions. If the patient isn’t critical, the staff may be reluctant to give them a valuable bed when someone more critical may follow. However, if they send the patient home and their condition deteriorates, the patient may not realize how severely ill they are until it’s too late.
This is where RPM comes in. Hospitals can send seriously ill – but not critical – patients home with RPM equipment and have them monitor their vital signs. A downward trend in readings can signal to the provider that the patient needs to head back to the ED immediately for admission. Frequent monitoring can alert the provider before a patient would realize their condition has declined.
CW can bridge the COVID care gap
The Community Wellness MyWellness Connect™ app is free for patients to download. Our team can walk them through every step of setting up the devices and tracking their vital signs.
Our Alert & Triage Algorithm kicks in when a reading outside of safe parameters is recorded. The Community Wellness Patient Success team will reach out to the patient and ask them to take another reading. If that reading is also concerning, the provider is notified immediately to review the vital signs and determine appropriate next steps for their patient.
In these unprecedented times, health systems and hospitals need to have every possible resource at their disposal. RPM has become more prevalent and patients are increasingly comfortable with telemedicine now. Let’s embrace the future today when we need it most.
Learn more about our COVID Home Management program.