How To Help The Small Hospital
Small hospitals play a critical role in the healthcare system. These facilities provide care for communities that often don’t have many options for medical care. However, rural hospitals often struggle to achieve economies of scale. These hospitals must find ways to increase efficiencies while still keeping costs low. Remote case management may be one of the keys to saving the small hospital.
Facing cost challenges
Managing costs is crucial for small hospitals. Many smaller or rural hospitals face a lack of resources that are readily available to larger, more urban healthcare organizations. Because these facilities serve a smaller population, small hospitals often don’t have a large enough volume of commercial payers in the payer mix. These facilities commonly lack money-making service lines and struggle with recruitment challenges.
Smaller hospitals have to work with less. This makes remote case management services a viable, cost-effective solution for 24/7 case management coverage. Remote call centers can serve as the triage center for patient calls during after-hours when the case management team has gone home for the day. For many rural hospitals, this is when the majority of patients come to admissions.
Finding a call center strategy
Call center strategies are becoming more and more common. Recent research has shown that up to 62% of hospitals have a call center strategy in place. Having qualified, trained call center respondents is critical to saving clinicians time and money and making sure providers see the right patients. Not only do these Telemanagement operators provide vital triaging services, but these remote employees also act as the first face of the organization to incoming patients.
The benefits of telemedicine in the ED
Rural hospitals can struggle to make ends meet in the emergency department (ED). In the ED setting, demand for care can increase at any time, and small hospitals often need to rely on the availability of primary care physicians to bridge gaps in care. Telemanagement can play an essential role in the ED setting. Through remote care management, healthcare providers are available through a video platform without needing to physically be at the hospital. Hospitals who use a telemedicine platform in the ED can reduce strain on physicians by bypassing the need for more robust staffing round the clock.
Many facilities have had great success with integrating a telemedicine strategy. For example, one hospital implemented a process by which patients in the ED could have a short virtual consultation with a physician during triage. These new processes can help to lower costs while increasing efficiency and saving time for providers. On average, a primary care provider visit costs $100, while a virtual visit costs only $45. And when comparing in-person and virtual rates in the ED setting, the difference only grows.
Start the conversation today
A remote case management strategy can help to lower costs, reduce inefficiencies, and maximize resources. Telemanagement may even be considered the key to saving the small hospital. Start the conversation today about remote care management.