May 8, 2022
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the telehealth industry experienced explosive growth. As lockdowns and social distancing mandated remote care, an industry which had gone under the radar for so long was forced to the forefront. As with working from home, the rise in telehealth seems to be here to stay, with many patients coming to appreciate the flexibility and convenience of remote consultations.
Retirement villages are especially well-placed to take advantage of the coming telehealth revolution. Their duty of care covers particularly vulnerable and high-needs populations, and they often already have the necessary healthcare expertise in-house. All they need to take advantage of telehealth for the benefit of their residents, communities and bottom lines, is technology.
Spritely’s telehealth system is currently being utilised by some of New Zealand’s most trusted healthcare providers (like St John and Nurse Maude) to deliver telehealth services to vulnerable communities across the country. Spritely allows operators with no previous telehealth experience to create robust and valuable programs quickly and efficiently.
Businesses who use Spritely for telehealth distribute special touchscreen tablets to each of their patients and manage all interaction from an easy-to-use online portal that can be accessed from any device.
Staff can then conduct one-click video calls with any patient, using Spritely’s inbuilt note-taking system to record symptoms, diagnoses, and recommendations. Patients can record a huge range of health vitals (*blood pressure, temperature, blood oxygen etc.) using wireless medical devices, and all of this information (including automated alerts for concerning readings) is transmitted automatically to the online portal where it can be monitored and managed.
In many implementations, patients can request calls from a ‘telenurse’ if they’re feeling under the weather, and even book pre-approved slots using Spritely’s appointment booking module.
Spritely also offers a wide range of pre-configured medical interventions, which staff can record easily, and which management can track using the robust reporting features.
All this can be conducted from anywhere in the world – all nationwide operations can be based in a single location, or individual villages can service their own residents remotely – particularly useful during lockdowns.
Alpine View Lifestyle Village is a 350-person retirement village in Christchurch. When COVID-19 lockdowns struck, they used their pre-existing Spritely implementation to stay on top of their pandemic response completely remotely.
First, they opened up ‘Telenurse Requests,’ which allowed residents who were feeling COVID symptoms to request a video callback from a staff member to assess their condition and provide recommendations and referrals.
Secondly, they set up temperature reading alerts. Any temperature reading from any resident which indicated a fever would be automatically flagged for follow-up. This allowed the team to get on top of possible infections early, minimising the potential infection risk.
Thirdly, the Alpine View team used Spritely’s other features to improve the lockdown lives of their residents. They provided frequent noticeboard updates detailing social distancing rules and updates. They distributed videos that demonstrated effective home exercise routines and the proper method for disinfecting groceries. They even set up virtual social evenings, utilising the tablets’ video call functionality to relieve the social isolation of vulnerable residents.
Telehealth provides a unique and innovative way for retirement villages to increase the value they bring to their residents and ward off pandemic health issues. Spritely has the best system in New Zealand for this purpose, trusted by some of the country’s best aged care providers.