LOUISVILLE, Ky.– Lacuna Health, a subsidiary of Kindred Healthcare, is offering its nursing call center services to outside hospitals, health systems, physician groups, Accountable Care Organizations, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living companies and home health providers to support patients in their transitions from hospital to home and to bridge gaps across the care continuum. “Our RN-led model and partnership strategy is poised to redefine care engagement models and drive enormous value for our customers and partners,” said Dr. Brian Holzer, CEO of Lacuna Health, in a statement. “We look forward to becoming the trusted care engagement partner for leading health care entities across the country.” Lacuna Health is the evolution of Kindred’s Contact Center, a toll-free, 24/7, registered nurse staffed resource created in 2014 to serve Kindred patients and their families seeking ongoing support and assistance navigating the health care system. It offers nurse hotline services, clinical after-care services, physician practice support and hospital placement solutions. “By offering Lacuna Health’s proven solutions to a broad range of partners, we see an incredible opportunity to better serve and support patients across the care continuum, especially in evolving value-based systems,” said Benjamin Breier, president and CEO of Kindred Healthcare, in a statement. “The care engagement services Lacuna developed and honed over the years for Kindred’s patients are now being deployed with non-Kindred partners across the acute and post-acute continuum.”
‘Telehealth is the new normal’
SAN DIEGO – Nursing students at the University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing are being trained in a telehealth curriculum founded on a platform provided by telehealth solutions provider SnapMD.
The school structured its telehealth curriculum around SnapMD’s Virtual Care Management platform because it offers a single suite of scalable enterprise software that gives providers all the tools needed to delivery virtual care, said Dr. Jonathan Mack, director of the Health Care Informatics and Nursing Informatics programs at USD.
“This is not emerging technology—it’s already here,” he said. “We want our students to be trained and ready to use it when they graduate.”
To focus the telehealth training, the school created the Beyster Institute for Nursing Research, Advanced Practice and Simulation, which includes the Dickinson Nursing Simulation Center, a state-of-the-art lab that replicates hospital and clinic patient rooms. The facility also houses a patient apartment for on-site or virtual patient visits.
SnapMD’s VCM platform includes all of the features needed to practice any form of medicine suitable for telehealth and was designed specifically for health care providers to launch a virtual medical clinic and digital exam room, said Dave Skibinski, president and CEO of SnapMD. The cloud-based platform serves as a digital hub for scalable virtual care.
Mack said the SnapMD platform is easy to use for both providers and patients, and can expand and integrate with other systems and digital devices like wireless stethoscopes, blood pressure monitors and opthalmoscopes.
USD has made telehealth training a required part of the graduate nursing program for the past four years and Mack believes the school’s model will be adopted across the country in the future.
“We really see telehealth as a modality for expanding health care access and reducing the cost of care,” he said. “In a couple of years it’s going to be standard practice. Telehealth is the new normal in health care.”
‘This may open a whole new business model for telehealth’
CHICAGO – Patients in 29 states can now receive telehealth services from licensed nurses through an Enhanced Nurse License Compact.
The eNLC allows the recognition of nursing licenses between member states.
“This may open a whole new business model for telehealth,” said Candy Campbell, a registered nurse at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions.
Licensing standards are aligned in member states to ensure that all nurses applying for a multistate license are required to meet the same standards, which include a federal and state criminal background check.
Campbell believes the compact will help address the national shortage of nurses, especially in rural communities, through the use of technology.
“Allowing seamless entry from one state to another will certainly defray the shortage of nurses,” she said. “RNs and licensed, certified nurse practitioners can expect to have new opportunities to serve clients virtually.”
Dr. Latisha Rowe, founder of The Rowe Network, an online specialty medical group that provides telemedicine to patients around the world, said the eNLC will expand options for nurses to treat patients in their homes or other settings closer to home.
“The nursing compact will allow nurses to have more flexibility in supplying the needs of ‘health care deserts’ and to support multiple states virtually with video-based mobile apps,” she said.
eNLC member states are Arizona; Arkansas; Colorado; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Iowa; Kentucky; Maine; Maryland; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Mexico; North Carolina; North Dakota; Oklahoma; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; West Virginia; Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Legislation is pending in seven other states.