Reducing potentially preventable hospitalisations in aged care with telehealth

· Case Studies
Aged care patient with doctor on telehealth call

The challenge?

For elderly patients, in-person appointments with medical and allied health professionals are an important part of remaining healthy. So too are hospital visits for specialist treatment and emergency care.

When medical emergencies occur during off-hours in aged care, the rate of potentially preventable and inappropriate emergency hospitalisations can increase.

These visits can cause discomfort and even harm for older people, particularly if they have a chronic or acute health condition. It increases the risk of complications and morbidity, and also the risk of falls for patients with mobility issues. Dementia patients can experience increased distress when taken out of familiar surroundings and routines.

Additionally, hospital visits can expose vulnerable people to serious bacterial and viral infections, which can then become a transmission risk upon returning to an aged care home.

By reducing potentially preventable and inappropriate hospitalisations, elderly patients can experience improved health outcomes, while aged care operators can see a reduction in costs associated with healthcare and patient transport.

Whether older people reside in an aged care facility, an independent living apartment, or if they are ageing in their own home, the Australian Royal Commission into Aged Care has highlighted the important role telehealth will play in the future delivery of elderly care.

The Royal Commission has recommended that all providers in the sector have the necessary equipment and staff to support telehealth services in place by 1 November 2021.

The solution:

Visionflex telehealth technology – supporting aged care

There is no substitute for in-person medical care, but telehealth is an important adjunctive in the timely delivery of quality primary healthcare and allied health services to the elderly.

Telehealth is also an important tool in reducing potentially preventable hospitalisations and patient transfers.

Visionflex’s revolutionary telehealth hardware and software solutions, and its suite of approved medical devices, transform internet-connected devices into medical tools capable of conducting clinical examinations for accurate diagnoses.

 

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In aged care settings, Visionflex telehealth technology can be used to:

  • conduct collaborative clinical medical examinations and discuss complex cases with multiple practitioners in real-time,
  • perform general imaging examinations; wound management; ear, nose, and throat examinations; ophthalmology; dermatology; speech pathology, plus many other patient observations via Bluetooth and USB-connected devices.
  • connect elderly patients 24/7 from the comfort of their residence with medical specialists and allied health professionals via high-definition video conferencing,
  • remotely triage a patient and if an in-person medical visit is required, an appointment can be made and patient transport organised,
  • conduct pre- and post-treatment patient medical assessments,
  • perform regular wound assessments,
  • perform medication management reviews,
  • perform mental health assessments,
  • perform oral and dental assessments,
  • enhance rural health outreach services, so aged care recipients in country locations can access medical specialists anywhere, anytime,
  • conduct remote patient monitoring using approved medical devices to track and share health information and identify risk factors and treatment options before a condition becomes serious.

 

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Integrating with My Health Record

Importantly, Visionflex’s data synchronisation capability means a patient’s health results and medical history can be securely shared, updated, and stored in an electronic health record (EHR) system, such as Australia’s My Health Record.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care has highlighted the creation and maintenance of accessible, accurate, and up-to-date electronic patient medical data as an issue of high importance for all aged care providers.

Electronic health records are vital for providing an up-to-date summary of an elderly patient’s health status, including medications and advance care directives.

Electronic health records are required:

  • when older people move between the health and aged care systems,
  • when they are transferred from hospital to residential aged care,
  • during medical discharge and clinical handover processes,
  • to provide ambulance paramedics with current health data,
  • to inform relevant government agencies on patient status.

 

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INTRODUCING

Logo for Vision telehealth platform

Vision telehealth platform functionality examplesDiscover a new Vision – a virtual health solution for aged care

Vision is an easy-to-use, low-cost telehealth software solution that delivers medical expertise and allied health services to elderly patients via internet-connected devices including PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones.

Android and iOS dedicated apps are also available, and Vision can be used through any current Chromium-based browser.

From the comfort of their own residence, an elderly patient supported by a familiar staff member can use Vision to meet virtually with multiple participants in a secure telehealth video conference.

All it takes is the touch of a button to initiate a virtual meeting.

Vision also has built-in clinical functionality to securely collect, view, and share a range of patient health metrics in real-time including blood pressure, ECG, temperature, pulse oximetry, blood glucose, and weight.

Featuring new bandwidth-optimising technology that delivers diagnostic-quality video and audio, as well as high-speed data transmission and end-to-end encryption, Vision is suitable for all aged care health settings that require collaborative, evidence-based decision making.

Virtual meetings are easy to schedule with Vision’s waiting-room function.

The platform can be customised and scaled to suit organisational needs and integrated with a practice management calendar.

Available on a monthly or annual subscription, Vision’s unique software and collaborative clinical tools can be used on internet-connected devices to conduct remote, and secure medical consultations between multiple participants.

Vision can also integrate with an organisation’s electronic health record system for the secure transmission, storage and sharing of all patient data.

Vision telehealth platform on mac screen with portable ultrasound and general examination camera

 

Vision + ProEX – a telemedicine software and hardware solution for aged care

Vision can be teamed with our ProEX telehealth hardware system and its suite of approved medical devices, transforming a telehealth video conference into a clinical medical examination.

Our ProEX range includes the desktop ProEX Telehealth Hub and a portable, ruggedised tablet version, the ProEX Mobile.

ProEX integrated medical devices include ultrasound, stethoscope, endoscope, otoscope, pulse oximeter, ECG, thermometer, blood-pressure monitor, weighing scales, and a GEIS General Examination Camera HD.

When teamed together, the Vision + ProEX telehealth solution can be used for general imaging; wound management; dental examinations; ear, nose, and throat examinations; ophthalmology; dermatology, mental health; speech pathology, along with many other patient observations via Bluetooth and USB-connected devices.

All Visionflex products are IEC 60601 compliant, making them suitable for clinical medical assessments. Visionflex is also certified ISO 13485 2016 for the manufacture of non-sterile image capture and data storage systems for medical devices.

 

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The Vision platform incorporates another piece of revolutionary Visionflex technology:

Display panel for TrueSteth

TrueSteth logo

This world-first digital stethoscope application transmits stethoscope audio digitally without any loss of quality. It provides the physician at the far end with complete control of volume, gain, and audio filter settings of a digital stethoscope being used to listen to a remote patient’s heart, lung, and body sounds.

TrueSteth’s diagnostic-quality audio and visual display can be shared in real-time during video consultations.

 

 

Vision’s innovative and unique collaborative clinical functions include:

MultiVu logo

Multiple participants can simultaneously activate and switch between numerous video cameras such as a GEIS General Examination Camera HD or a dental camera, providing access to live clinical footage on screen in large 16:9 video windows.

 

ExamVu logo

Integrate remote clinical examinations during a video conference with the far-end doctor guiding the process and receiving real-time, on-screen patient data including blood pressure, ECG, temperature, pulse oximetry, blood glucose, and weight.

 

RoomVu logo

Remotely view and control IP- and USB-based pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) ceiling and room cameras for a clear view of the patient to add context and detail during clinical examinations.

 

SnapShot logo

Capture and instantly share multiple clinical images during video consultations. Data can be automatically stored on the local PC.

 

Telestrations logo

In real-time, video conference participants can annotate shared clinical images and PDF documents on screen for live discussion and collaboration. Files can be stored on the local PC.

 

Connections are possible via broadband internet, 4G mobile, and satellite. The system can be geo-fenced ensuring patient data is transmitted securely.

 

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Our ProEX telehealth hardware solution

Vision joins our range of telehealth solutions that includes our ProEX system of telehealth hardware.

The ProEX uses high-speed, live, HD video conferencing capabilities, and end-to-end encryption to securely connect multiple participants in a real-time video consultation. Its powerful software delivers world-class sound and vision, and it can connect with participants on any PC via a local network, WiFi, and the internet.

While most traditional video conferencing platforms have no clinical functionality, the ProEX system supports a suite of approved medical examination devices (both digital and analogue), revolutionising the way that a physician or nurse can examine, diagnose, monitor, and treat remote patients.

Using the ProEX, vital patient health data can be collected and viewed live on screen, and it can be shared, recorded, and saved to an electronic health record system for future reference or review.

The system’s store-and-forward capabilities provide added flexibility for telehealth settings that require travel to visit elderly patients. All patient data is encrypted to comply with HIPAA requirements.

The ProEX system has an easy-to-use address book function and emails can be sent to invite a remote participant into a virtual meeting room. Scheduled video calls can be set up in advance, with pop-up reminders.

 

Visionflex ProEX Desktop telehealth device front and back with GEIS general examination camera in cradle and doctor on screen
Pictured: (from left) ProEX rear view, ProEX front view, GEIS General Examination Camera.

 

Depending on your aged care setting, the ProEX system is available in a variety of configurations:

  • The ProEX Telehealth Hub is suited to residential aged care facilities. It can be teamed with a Telehealth Cart for situations where equipment needs to be easily moved from room to room.
  • The ProEX Mobile is a portable, rugged tablet device suitable for conducting medical examinations during field and home visits, as well as medical rounds in rural and remote locations.
  • The Telehealth Cabinet with ProEX Telehealth Hub is perfect for settings with limited space or in remote areas where secure storage is required.
  • The Backpack Kit with ProEX Mobile is easily transported to remote and rural areas and home visits, and it can be configured with medical peripherals to suit your needs.

Multiple ProEX units can be easily programmed to communicate securely with each other and share information in a customised network.

The ProEX Telehealth Hub and ProEX Mobile are designed for ease of use, with a minimal number of buttons and controls, and intuitive on-screen functions. Featuring a large HD screen, the ProEX units are a pleasure to use.

The ProEX units have multiple ports for optimum connectivity including HDMI, USB, DVI, CVBS and S-Video inputs, as well as LAN, Bluetooth, and WiFi capability.

 

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Visionflex – designed to deliver elderly care. Learn more here

Visionflex, a leader in telehealth technology, was formed by two Australian engineers with the goal of making world-class healthcare accessible to everyone, everywhere.

To learn more about the Vision + ProEX telehealth software and hardware solutions, or to arrange a demonstration, click here.