PHILADELPHIA, April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Eagle Telemedicine, an independent, physician-led company that develops and manages inpatient telemedicine practices for hospitals, will present its suite of telehospitalist services at the National Rural Health Association's 38th annual Rural Health Conference in Philadelphia April 14-17.
At Booth 209, Eagle representatives will showcase the company's telehospitalist services that support nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) providing inpatient care in rural hospitals. The services help rural hospitals reduce patient transfer rates and offer a new model for managing the shortage of physicians.
"Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are often the primary caregivers in many rural communities, providing care in the clinic, ER and inpatient setting," said Rich Sanders, Vice President of Eagle Telemedicine. "With primary care physician resources dwindling and the pressures of a busy outpatient practice, these non-physician providers (NPPs) may find collaboration with physicians on their in-hospital patients more difficult. Our telehospitalist program helps them meet that challenge."
Eagle Telemedicine's telehospitalists participate in daily rounds via live video conferencing and are available 24/7 to provide expertise and collaboration with local teams to provide patients with the care they need in their home communities. The program is already producing strong results for rural hospitals, including one in Kansas, where Eagle has launched a "By Kansans, For Kansans" program. In the program, hospitalists providing telemedical support to NPPs at Kansas facilities are all Kansas physicians.
A new model of care for Anthony Medical Center
Even though the state of Kansas is providing the 25-bed Anthony Medical Center (AMC) and 82 other rural hospitals with some relief from the financial pressures of fixed Medicare reimbursement rates, the facility has also set a financial goal to increase patient volume by transferring fewer patients and providing them with the appropriate level of care in their own hometown.
Working with Eagle Telemedicine, AMC deployed a new model across its ER, its clinic and its inpatient care facility. AMC's NPs and PAs get hands-on attention as an Eagle hospitalist delivers clinical decision-making, directs a robotic camera and interacts with nurses and patients via two-way audio and video.
In just the first month of the program, AMC was able to increase its admissions by 18% of its average monthly admission rate of 22. Even though the percentage amounted to only four more patients, over time such an increase will make a big difference to AMC's financial viability. Meanwhile, AMC's NPPs are growing their skills and gaining greater confidence in the decisions they make with the support of physicians who are experts in inpatient hospital care.
Pioneers in inpatient telemedicine
As a pioneer in inpatient telemedicine, Eagle has spent more than five years perfecting its telemedicine service models of care and tailoring them to specific settings, such as rural hospitals where telemedicine can bring specialized care to the bedside where it might otherwise be unavailable.
Benefits to rural hospitals include:
- Provision of care to patients in their home communities
- Around-the-clock access to expertise
- Improved quality of care
- Reduced out-transfer of adult medical patients
- Increased admissions and revenue
- Hands-on access to education and training for NPPs and other staff
"Telemedicine is most effective when applied where physician resources are scarce and patient care is time sensitive," said Sanders. "And it is providing hope to rural hospitals in an era when closure is a very real possibility unless new models of care are deployed. We look forward to sharing information about our new services and successes with attendees at the NRHA conference."
About Eagle Telemedicine
Founded in 2008, Eagle Telemedicine was one of the first companies to emerge in the telemedicine physician service arena and continues to serve as a pioneer in the industry today, leading practical solutions, management tools and innovation through the use of telemedicine. Eagle currently offers telemedicine programs and solutions in: Hospitalist Medicine, Stroke and Acute Neurology, and Critical Care. The company was launched through Eagle Hospital Physicians, which develops and supports hospitalist physician practices serving hospitals in more than a dozen states. For more information, visit www.eagletelemedicine.com.
SOURCE Eagle Telemedicine