HAP Blog

New Federally Funded Program Offers Hospitals Telehealth at Their Fingertips

May 03, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the incredible resilience of health care providers and their ability to adapt and rise to the challenges that we faced. Every hospital should feel proud of their perseverance and dedication in caring for the communities they serve.

One of the key challenges that hospitals had to address during COVID-19 was surges in patient volume and acuity that sometimes left hospitals feeling overwhelmed. This largely is a result of several contributing factors:

  • Staffing was impacted by contracting the illness or quarantines
  • Hospitals that routinely stabilized and then transferred high-acuity patients soon found themselves keeping these patients for extended stays
  • The medical equipment used to care for high-acuity patients involved rapid purchase, training, and utilization

Through emergency waivers, hospitals were able to be creative and utilize new areas for patient care. And many found ways to integrate technology in day-to-day patient care, quickly becoming proficient in new platforms and helping patients remain well informed and cared for in their own homes.

Now is the time for hospitals to consider how they can continue preparedness efforts moving forward. Inspired by the hospital community’s incredible work, organizations are leveraging technology and creating innovative tools to help hospitals plan for future emergent situations.

For example, the National Emergency Tele-Critical Care Network (NETCCN) has used telehealth to bring critical care providers to the bedsides of hospitals experiencing surge events or staffing shortages. Through funding from the CARES Act, hospitals can use this service through standard smartphone technologies, allowing them to integrate this resource into their existing emergency operation plans.

HAP’s emergency management team is ready to support hospitals in preparedness for emergent situations. For more information, contact Chris ChamberlainHAP’s vice president, emergency management, or Ryan Weaver, HAP’s emergency manager.

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