Loretto’s New Tech-Savvy Unit Expected to Decrease Hospital Readmissions

Apr 16 2018

A new TeliStat™ Restorative Care Unit (TRCU) opened at the Loretto Health and Rehabilitation Center in Syracuse today. This unit is the first of its kind in Central New York.

“Our goal for this new unit is to embrace innovative medical technology to enhance our rehabilitation services,” said Kimberly Townsend, President and CEO at Loretto. “Bringing this level of care to Loretto gives cardiac patients the opportunity to complete their rehab at a lower cost and reduces their risk of rehospitalization.”

The new 25-bed unit has portable monitors that track multiple health risks in real-time. Residents in the short-term rehabilitation program receive a portable Wi-Fi biometric monitor which registers real-time data. It also allows them to access physicians any time of day or night. The TRCU concept and associated proprietary technology were developed by Anthony Bacchi, MD, an innovative healthcare leader in New York.

In addition to utilizing the latest technology, this new unit was also a reason for Loretto, the sixth largest employer in Central New York, to add several new jobs. Among those hired to staff the TRCU were Registered Nurses (RNs), a program director, a care coordinator, a medical director and a cardiologist. With the new skilled nursing staff and medical team in place, the rehabilitation facility will be able to maintain a patient-to-RN-ratio of approximately 6-to-1, well above industry standards, with additional support coming from Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).

Through this technology and the additional medical staff, Loretto can care for hospital patients recovering from major cardiac surgery and diagnoses requiring hemodynamics and telemonitoring. Loretto will work with St. Joseph’s Health, Crouse Hospital and Upstate University Hospital to serve patients.

The decision by Dr. Bacchi to create the initial TRCU concept and the decision by Townsend to implement the new tech-savvy unit at Loretto were both in response to an alarming national trend – more than 20 percent of Medicare patients discharged to a skilled nursing facility return to the hospital within thirty days. The federal government estimates this translates to $17 billion that could be saved with proper patient care.

Once Dr. Bacchi developed the TRCU concept, he opened a prototype site in the Hudson Valley in early 2015. This site has a readmission rate of under five percent – a fraction of the national average.

“We are excited for the Loretto unit to open as it brings previously unavailable services to the Syracuse community by effectively treating more complex patients in place with Loretto’s highly skilled interdisciplinary team and state of the art technology,” Bacchi said.

Loretto is now the sixth location in New York State using TRCU. This telemedicine technology, combined with the skilled nursing staff and a medical team, empower Loretto to provide much-needed care while helping to decrease hospital readmission rates and associated costs in Central New York.

“Concern over rising health care costs combined with technological advances are continuing to shape the industry in a unique way,” said Townsend. “To best serve Central New York, we must continue to grow and evolve in response to the industry, which is a big part of why we rebranded earlier this year.”

Townsend revealed Loretto’s new brand on Friday, March 2, 2018. The new brand consists of a new “Lifecircle” logo, the tagline “Exceptional People, Extraordinary Care,” and a new mission statement – to be a family of exceptional people caring for and about each other.

About Loretto

Loretto is a leader in comprehensive healthcare services in Central New York. As the fourth largest healthcare provider and the sixth largest employer in the region, the 2,500 exceptional people at Loretto’s 19 locations deliver extraordinary care to close to 10,000 people of all ages, income levels, and care needs in Onondaga and Cayuga counties each year. From adult day programs and short-term rehabilitation, to the home-like settings in its assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities, Loretto is actively investing in its employees, in medical research, and in new technologies to improve care in our community, Making Every Day Extraordinary. Loretto: Exceptional people. Extraordinary care. For more information on Loretto, please visit lorettocny.org.

All vitals are transmitted real-time to the central nurses’ station. A program Director is on staff as well as a Nurse Practitioner to supervise the plan of care and any appropriate modifications required.
Each room is equipped with a tablet for easy access and viewing of vital signs.
Telemedicine enables physicians to virtually evaluate patients right in the room – in addition to a video camera, the cart includes a stethoscope to transmit heart and lung sounds to the advising physician during the consult.
Physicians and clinical staff will also have access to secured vital information on a mobile device, to address any changes in patient condition as they happen.
Mobile Device data display
Each resident is equipped with a watch that transmits all key vitals seamlessly in real-time.
The TeliStat cardiac device transmits every heart beat for real-time analysis
All med carts are equipped with laptops that also display real-time telemetry to ensure proper medication management
Monitors are also mounted in the rehab area for easy access to oversee residents while starting their rehab programs.
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