At The Osher Inn at The Cedars, we learned early on that changes in the way healthcare is delivered during this pandemic needed to be immediately adopted to protect our staff and those we care for. Having closed our community to non-essential healthcare providers and limiting physician appointments to those deemed a medical necessity, The Osher Inn needed to find ways to continue to provide ongoing medical care and connection to outside care providers. In our efforts to reinvent our healthcare services, telehealth emerged as one of the major tools to deliver clinical services via telecommunications technology.
Through our Telehealth Program, staff is able to easily coordinate medical care for our patients and residents with primary care and specialty physicians, clinics and services. Additionally, telehealth has been utilized for interdisciplinary team meetings. This program has assisted in maintaining continuity of healthcare to our patients and residents, avoiding additional negative consequences from delayed preventive, chronic and routine care.
Our patients and residents have been very receptive to using telehealth technology, and our nurses love the fact that they are more involved in the patient/resident visits. Rather than having a patient or resident return from an appointment with a brief, written report, The Cedars nursing staff can interact, share concerns, and collaborate with care partners. This has improved our ability to provide individualized, person-centered care.
The Osher Inn’s Telehealth Program is now part of our overall emergency preparedness plan. Keeping our residents healthy and connected to the community has been a major goal of this program. We anticipate that this pandemic will continue to effect operations well into the future, and our Telehealth and Wellness Program will continue to have a positive long-term impact on our organization.
Telehealth is a component of The Osher Inn’s Beat COVID-19 Comprehensive Program which includes telehealth, screening, visitations, cleaning, personal protective equipment, and staff education. These efforts have been supported by contributions to The Cedars COVID-19 Response Fund from individual donors and the following foundations: The Sam L. Cohen Foundation, Maine Health Access Foundation, and The Sephardic Foundation on Aging. Thank you to everyone who has supported our efforts to keep our residents, patients, and staff safe and healthy.