There are many types of telehealth. Selecting the right telehealth solution can impact your patient care and bottom-line. For wound and ostomy care, eConsult is the type of telehealth helps patients receive treatment at their PCP office. Using physician-to-physician consultation, a primary care provider can seek the advice of a certified wound care nurse to treat wounds in the office. This service allows patients to avoid expensive specialist visits or trips to the emergency room.

Watch this video to learn about how eConsults support wound care and it what means for primary care providers and their patients.

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Wound Care from Corstrata & AristaMD

Mara Varnado is a wound and ostomy nurse specialist. She works with AristaMD through Corstrata. As a channel partner, Corstrata sees a variety of different types of patients who have wound and ostomy issues. All of the nurses providing eConsults and telehealth are board certified wound and ostomy nurses.

All types of telehealth are exploding. In 2021, over 25 million Americans had a virtual telehealth encounter, whether it was a physician, home health, or hospice care. When it comes to telehealth via eConsults, the primary care provider initiates the request using the AristaMD platform or using the practice’s EHR. The request includes the clinical documentation and a wound photo, which is really important.

At this point Corstrata will have a nurse will take a look at the patient complaint, chart, and photographs. The nurse will respond to the request via the AristaMD platform with recommendations and resources that are useful in the development of a treatment plan for you patient. If it’s a wound dressing that the PCP may not be familiar with, Corstrata may provide patient education materials. The final step is a request  console, we just wait for you to, uh, request our assistance again. And, eConsults are one of the types of telehealth that enable follow up on those patients as well.

One of the most important things and wound healing is identifying the etiology. With some chronic wounds the true etiology was never identified. Patient’s with chronic wounds have often been treated for the wrong condition. It’s important to try to figure it out the etiology as it will guide the care plan. Knowing the etiology allows the wound care nurse to consider a variety of systemic factors that impact care and optimize healing and disease management.  The goal of virtual telehealth is to prevent recidivism, a recurrence

Knowing the wound etiology is important

Wound care for lower extremities offer some really good examples of the importance of etiology. The gold standard for venous insufficiency management is therapeutic compression. At the same time, the wound needs blood flow to heal. Knowing the etiology will help the wound care nurse know what this patient is going to need and what they can tolerate.

Virtual telehealth using physician-to-physician consultation allows Corstrata nurses to see a variety of types of wounds – acute, sudden occurrence, trauma related, surgical incisions. The other eConsult requests are for wounds that are chronic and non-healing, which are often lower extremity wounds.  Primary care providers request virtual telehealth for pressure injuries and  surgical incisions over time are not progressing. Virtual telehealth also supports skin issues like moisture associated skin damage.

What are the benefits of telehealth for wound care?

There is value in engaging a specialist for wound care. The PCP has greater access to  very focal experience, good site of care alternatives, and the ability to see our patients in any setting. eConsults allow wound care specialists to see patients in long-term care, home care, and doctor’s offices. This type of virtual telehealth is asynchronous also called store and forward.

The other thing virtual telehealth does is lower the risk of patient leakage. When you are using an eConsult, you’re able to keep your patient in your health system, which is extremely important. This is also a cost effective option, and it really does improve the patient’s experience. It puts the patient in the center of the care, and provides the access to augment knowledge, follow advanced wound healing, best practices, and proceed with confidence.

Payors also see value in using distant site telehealth, including eConsults. More pre-authorizations are provided more often for consultations  and reliance on ambulatory modalities is declining. The cost of face-to-face specialist visits impacts the payors and the patients. Other telehealth cost savings include, avoiding lost pay due to time off of work, travel expenses to see the specialist, or higher copays for a specialist or ambulatory care.  PCPs can manage these patients outside of a wound center.

 

Learn more about how primary care providers can use physician-to-physician consultation to improve access.