Where are they now: Alverno Health Care

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Alverno Health Care
Alverno Health Care

While it's too soon to know for sure, Alverno Health Care in Clinton, IA, expects it will decrease hospital admissions this year through telemedicine.

The facility, which won a Bronze Award in the McKnight's Technology Awards program in 2012, received a grant through Avera for a yearlong test that started in January. By using a computer screen on a cart, “We can take it anywhere in the building,” says Tammi Franks, RN, Clinical Care Coordinator at Alverno.

“There's a camera where you can do close-ups, and the physician that you speak with can hear what you are hearing through the stethoscope,” she says. “You can take it anywhere.”

Physicians and nurse practitioners can review medication and send orders. Franks says it has been helpful in addressing a resident's respiratory status.

“It can prevent an episode of pneumonia where a resident may have needed to be hospitalized,” she says. “They also can order IV fluids or medications, which is something we can get started here quicker and prevent hospital readmission.”

At first, nurses were reticent, but then they saw the advantages, she says, adding, “Families just love it.”