From an evolution standpoint, the methods for information transfer and communication have come a long way from the days of the telegraph. Up until the 1990s, the fax machine was the most widely used communication device in almost all industries. The 21st century ushered in a new age of mobile and web-based communication tools. The American healthcare system, however, remains stuck in the past. As it stands, approximately 75% of all medical communication still takes place via fax. While an overwhelming majority of clinics, hospitals, and post-acute care (PAC) providers have digitized their patient records, the means to share this electronic information across different healthcare settings proves difficult.
Progressive nursing facilities are evolving to operate more similarly to hospitals due to growing engagement in bundled payment arrangements and a devotion to improved patient outcomes. This shift in outcome ownership and shared financial responsibility has led to a need for more efficient patient transitions and increased visibility after the point of discharge. With a national presence, a predominate SNF partnered with enTouch to drive real-time communication with their internal service lines and downstream partners to focus on these goals. Within one year, the project’s primary skilled nursing facility saw rehospitalizations reduced by half.
The use of skilled nursing facilities as short and long term post-acute care settings has become very prevalent. At the moment, there are nearly 16,000 certified skilled nursing facilities in the U.S and the number keeps rising.