Syracuse’s Loretto Health and Rehabilitation Center has become the sixth nursing home facility in New York State with a specialized cardiac unit.
The TeliStat Restorative Care Unit or TRCU is part of an ongoing pilot program to establish a total of 14 across the state. Founder and CEO of the technology, Dr. Anthony Bacchi says these units are key factors in combating the problem of patients being unnecessarily re-admitted to hospitals.
"Medicare is seeing that 20% of discharges are being admitted back to the hospital within 30 days, that's costing them $26 billion, of which $17 billion is avoidable, unnecessary admissions."
What sets these units apart is their use of WiFi based telemetry monitoring. Loretto CEO and President Kim Townsend says patients are equipped with devices that monitor vital signs and send them to monitoring stations in real-time, giving staff immediate notice to changes in the patients’ medical conditions.
"Through the technology and the alerts and the prompts that it will offer, as well as the accessibility to information, by having all those pieces of information, we will be able to deliver better care and reduce our readmission rate."
Accessibility of information is another component of these units. Dr. Bacchi says WiFi based monitoring allows nurses and physicians immediate access to that information on their phones. He says the incorporation of Telemedicine allows them to check-up on patients more quickly.
"Also, if I need for example, to have a cardiologist and wants to see an EKG, we can send an EKG to the cardiologist in real time and the cardiologist can intervene with Telemedicine, which means they can go on their phone and speak to the patient in the room and do a consultation in real time."
In the past 27 months, TRCU equipped centers have seen re-admission rates drop from the average 20 percent to now less than five percent.