Can web conferencing help hospital admission rates?

Friday, October 5 2012

Telehealth is an increasingly popular alternative to multiple medical appointments. Using web conferencing programs is more convenient for patients than commuting to their doctor's office, especially if it's only for a routine check up. These collaboration tools also benefit medical professionals by allowing them to meet with more clients each day and reducing the amount of traffic in their practices.

For example, in Denver, Lisa Garner, a Telehealth clinical manager, works with three nurses who provide remote care to 200 patients. After diagnosing potential health risks, the medical professionals devise proactive treatment plans to help their clients avoid complications.

Doctors are also using video conferencing technology to follow up with patients after appointments and medical treatments. In Indianapolis, St. Vincent Health only re-hospitalized 3 percent of patients during a month of remote patient meetings. Dr. Alan Snell, the facility's chief medical informatics officer, told MedCity News that the national average readmission rate is 20 percent without web conferencing programs.

As more hospitals use conferencing software in their daily operations, medical staff will be able to meet with a greater number of patients while providing more individualized care.