Since Jackson Creek Senior Living implemented telehealth methods nine weeks ago, resident medical appointments have seamlessly continued throughout the COVID-19 shutdown, even without doctors present.
At Jackson Creek, telehealth — which means employing remote telecommunications technologies, like video conferencing, to support long-distance clinical health care or administration — has allowed the community’s three rounding medical providers to conduct most of their appointments with residents remotely, via FaceTime.
“It’s been a really good experience, and it’s great we are still maintaining the same amount of service and attention for their patients,” said Jackson Creek Wellness Director Corina Walker. “I feel like it’s a necessity. We need physical rounding in our building still, so it’s been a blessing.”
During a telehealth appointment, a staff member from the nursing or activities department will visit the resident’s apartment and contact their doctor via FaceTime, either on an iPad, a computer or an iPhone (one doctor prefers WhatsApp). The staff member will perform any physical checks on the patient the doctor requests, like testing whether a resident’s skin feels warm, or checking for swollen glands. But just like in-person medical appointments at Jackson Creek, the doctor is the one who controls the conversation, Corina said.
“At this point we haven’t really seen a lot of downfalls of telehealth,” Corina said. Our staff are hands on, walking the iPhone or iPad to their apartment and staying there for the length of the appointment. This system has also enabled a little bit more social interaction with the residents, so the time that is involved is actually a good way for us to spend our time.”
And with the help of the nurses sitting in, a telehealth appointment easily replicates the care a resident would receive during an in-person doctor visit. If a resident has a visible medical issue, the staff member lets the doctors see the screen so they can view the area up close and personal. Then, if necessary, the doctor decides whether it’s appropriate for the resident to be transported to another facility for further care, like the hospital or urgent care.
Now that nationwide social distancing restrictions have begun to ease, two of the community’s three rounding medical providers have elected to continue using telehealth, while the one rounding physician who is coming into the building wears a mask and is subject to temperature screenings.
Robbie Larson, whose mother is a resident at Jackson Creek, said her mother’s four telehealth appointments have operated so similarly to the traditional, in-person doctor’s appointments she has had here, she has not even remarked on the difference.
“I haven’t had any complaints from my mother about it,” he said. “I’ve talked to her doctor afterward and he’s been able to see any of her body parts he needs to ask questions about. He and my mother seem to have communicated really well with it. Having telehealth has been great because the residents can’t see the doctor right now, so it’s worked out well. We’re really pleased.”
At Jackson Creek Senior Living, residents receive high-quality medical care from our stable of dedicated, highly trained rounding providers. Want to learn more about telehealth, medical monitoring and wellness services at Jackson Creek? Contact us at 719-259-1331 or schedule your tour.