Dementia Care

2018 AHCA/NCAL Annual Convention

DC-3 - How Telemedicine Enhances Treating In Place in Skilled and Assisted Living Facilities

Tuesday, October 9
7:45 AM - 9:00 AM
CE: NAB: 1.25 | Nurses 1.25

“Treating in place” means minimizing care transfers between settings, using the resources available at each given setting to decrease patients’ risks. Minimizing transfers in care decreases adverse events, lowers costs, improves patient outcomes, and increases the confidence of health system partners, staff, providers, patients, and families. Transfers of care are always imperfect. Like a game of telephone, transfers result in lost knowledge, creating a need to repeat diagnostic lab work, tests, or imaging. Transfers of care in elderly patients also increase risks of delirium, complications, and discomfort, while adding stress to caregivers. Elderly patients and those with dementia and Alzheimer’s are disproportionately affected when transfers of care occur. Changing these patients’ environments makes them more agitated and less comfortable, and it increases sundowning. Hospitals are not always as equipped as SNFs or ALFs at managing these issues. In addition to risking delirium, statistically 30-day hospital readmission for dementia patients markedly increases morbidity and development of secondary complications. Dedicated telemedicine hospitalists are acute care experts, available even at night and on weekends. Through technology, they work directly with the SNF or ALF staff who know and can evaluate changes in patients. When working with telehospitalists, even high-risk patients don’t have to leave their beds or their familiar environments to be seen by an acute care specialist. Telemedicine allows patients to avoid stressful and costly emergency room trips and hospital admissions, and if the SNF is well equipped, they can receive a similar level of care in their familiar environment. Technology and skillsets available in SNFs and ALFs and among telemedicine hospitalists make them ideal partners in increasing treatment in place. This improves patient care while improving facility reputations, occupancy rates, and the confidence of hospital partners.

Learning Objectives:

Waseem Ghannam, MD, MBA, MHSA

CEO and Co-Founder
TeleHealth Solution

Dr. Ghannam obtained his Medical Degree from St. Matthew’s University and completed his training at Cabarrus Family Medicine in Concord, NC. During his medical training, Dr. Ghannam also completed a Masters of Business Administration from Davenport University and a Masters in Health Services Administration from St. Joseph’s College of Maine. Dr. Ghannam began his career as part of a private hospitalist group. There he developed an interest in bridging the gap for local hospitals with physician staffing needs. He and his business partner Dr. Jason Perlman founded The Hospitalist Solution, which gave North Carolina hospitals a one-call solution for their short- to medium-term hospitalist staffing needs. He later co-founded TeleHealth Solution, a telemedicine company providing physician coverage in Skilled Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living Communities, Life Plan Communities, Critical Access Hospitals, and Long Term Acute Care Hospitals. Dr. Ghannam is a patient-focused physician with a particular interest in creating ways for physicians and patients to interact and be cared for without geographical constraints. Dr. Ghannam is constantly seeking innovations in technology that can provide unparalleled care.


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DC-3 - How Telemedicine Enhances Treating In Place in Skilled and Assisted Living Facilities

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