Virtual Daily Rounding for COVID-19 Facility Outbreaks: A Standardized Telehealth-Centered Approach May Reduce Hospital Transfers and Mortality
Telemed J E Health. 2021 Jun 18. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2021.0108. Online ahead of print.
Background: Residents of nursing homes are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. There is no standardized approach for integration with hospitals for outbreak response. Previously, we described collaboration between a hospital and regional facilities. As a component of our COVID-19 Outbreak Response, we describe the impact of virtual daily rounds as an efficient and effective tool for facility outbreak in Central Virginia. Methods: At this facility, 82 (60%) residents were infected. Our team rapidly deployed technology to support staff at the facility. Virtual daily rounds created a systematic approach for patient care. The goals of virtual daily rounds include (1) efficiently facilitating HIPAA-compliant communication between nursing and all licensed independent providers, (2) rapid identification of clinical decline, (3) facilitation of care escalation, (4) facilitating bidirectional transfers, and (5) rapid and efficient identification of patients appropriate for telemedicine pulmonary consultation. Results: The outbreak remained active 6 weeks; 82 of 136 (60%) residents were infected, and 36 (44%) COVID-19 positive residents were seen by telemedicine consultation. Fifty-seven (70%) residents remained in-facility for treatment. Twenty-one residents died (15%); 10 in facility, 11 in hospital. Of those seen in telemedicine consultation, 24 (69%) remained on the treat-in-place protocol with goal-concordant care. These hospitalization and mortality rates are significantly lower than similar outbreaks reported. Discussion and Conclusion: We have since instituted this system at seven other facilities. A model of virtual daily rounding holds promise for decreasing mortality/hospitalization in this vulnerable population through systematically identifying patients most appropriate for telemedicine and cultivating close collaboration between hospitals and nursing homes.
PMID:34143671 | DOI:10.1089/tmj.2021.0108
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