When Sullivan County Community Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital in Indiana, added an Access TeleCare teleHospitalist service line, its impact was felt well beyond the walls of the hospital.
From adding capacity for the hospital and clinics in the area to connecting with patients and streamlining care, Access TeleCare’s teleHospitalists helped Sullivan County Community Hospital reimagine their role as a regional care leader.
Making a Difference for an Entire Region
Before the program launched, primary care doctors who primarily practice in the outpatient clinics near the hospital were pulling double duty by also covering the hospital’s inpatients. Those primary care doctors quickly became burned out, and a lack of physician coverage resulted for both the hospital and the surrounding clinics.
Access TeleCare’s teleHospitalist program changed all of that.
“This is really one of those partnerships that highlights the purpose of Access TeleCare and what we do every day,” said Chris Gallagher, M.D., Access TeleCare president/CEO. “Leveraging telemedicine to reduce physician burnout and increase capacity to improve an entire region’s access to care is the difference that our programs are making around the country.”
By adding needed hospitalist capacity through telemedicine, Access TeleCare’s teleHospitalist programs can make hospitals of any size a valuable resource for their region, reducing the need for clinic physicians to cover hospital patients. This creates positive ripple effects for other care providers in the area, giving them added capacity, reducing physician burnout, and helping more patients get the care they need sooner.
Building Trust With Patients and In-Person Staff
When Sullivan County Community Hospital in rural Indiana introduced a teleHospitalist program with Access TeleCare, on-site teams initially were skeptical. They were worried about patient resistance, workflow disruptions, and potential technical glitches.
But after just a few nights of teleHospitalist coverage with Access TeleCare, on-site nurses and care team members couldn’t imagine working without it.
“Access TeleCare’s teleHospitalists truly function like members of our team,” said Sullivan County Community Hospital CEO Michelle Franklin. “The collaboration with our in-person caregivers is felt by our patients, who embraced telemedicine just as quickly as our staff did.”
Through full integration with the local team’s EMR and Access TeleCare’s easy-to-use technology, the hospital team’s initial skepticism quickly evaporated as they realized that Access TeleCare’s approach to telemedicine was the solution to their challenges, not an obstacle to overcome.
“Our collaborative approach and fully integrated teleHospitalists make it as easy as possible for on-site teams to jump right into utilizing telemedicine for their patients,” said Paulgun Sulur, M.D., Access TeleCare’s hospitalist service line chief. “Our programs are about delivering excellent care, yes, but also about building sustainable working relationships with local care teams and building trust with patients.”
The same satisfaction followed among patients as well, as Access TeleCare’s patient-centered approach helped the teleHospitalists connect with patients and “break through the screen” to provide an excellent care experience.
Surpassing Patient Expectations
For one patient at Sullivan County Community Hospital, an Access TeleCare teleHospitalist program was the difference between getting a routine surgery close to home or undergoing a time-consuming and frustrating transfer to a more remote facility far from home.
Coordinating with the hospital’s on-site team or nurses and other clinicians, Access TeleCare’s teleHospitalists managed the series of diagnostic tests to determine that the patient was an excellent candidate for gallbladder surgery at the hospital.
The hospital’s local surgeon completed the surgery successfully, with the patient’s pre- and post-surgical care managed by Access TeleCare teleHospitalists. The patient and his family expressed their delight with the care, noting that it surpassed their expectations and expressing gratitude for the open, clear communication and ongoing support throughout the entire experience.
“Our teleHospitalists aren’t just equipped to deliver clinically excellent care that drives positive outcomes for patients,” said Sulur. “They’re also excellent caregivers focused on providing great care experiences for patients and their families.”
Thorough clinical documentation, accurate coding, and charting are prioritized as a standard with every Access TeleCare teleHospitalist program, all in the hospital’s native EMR.
“The integrated nature of these programs helps us start delivering needed care for patients right away,” said Lori Resler, CNO, Sullivan County Community Hospital. “Their hospitalists rapidly update patient cases with clear and concise notes in our EMR, making critical information available to on-site staff in real-time.”
Access TeleCare teleHospitalists are fully integrated with the on-site care teams’ workflows and processes, eliminating inefficiencies, duplication of tests, and frustrations. This approach fosters collaboration between the teleHospitalists and on-site teams and ensures information is shared in real time and visible to every on-site provider.
“From day one our teleHospitalists are working with your hospital’s native EMR and collaborating with your on-site teams in real time,” said Sulur. “We’re helping to streamline care for our partners through full integration, and the results are fewer headaches for hospital teams and even better care for patients.”
Patient care can be compromised if nurses and other on-site clinicians don’t have access to all the relevant clinical information in real time. Access TeleCare’s qualified teleHospitalists ensure hospital teams have the right clinical information at all times so they can focus on delivering the best care.
Contact us and see the difference an Access TeleCare teleHospitalist program can make.