Three New Jersey post-acute care centers, South Mountain Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Vauxhall, Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in East Orange, and Hampton Ridge Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Toms River – all members of the Ocean Healthcare Network – recently announced the introduction of a new initiative that has doctors, hospitals, and patients very excited.

“Everyone knows that one of the biggest challenges in skilled nursing care is ‘off’ hours – evenings and weekends,” explained Joseph Kiernan, Ocean Healthcare’s CSO and Senior Vice President, Network Development. “Even though we have physicians on staff, it isn’t realistic to have a doctor on-site around the clock to respond to every emergent situation.” Traditionally, explains Kiernan, this meant that off-hour emergencies were commonly sent to the area medical center’s emergency room, often unnecessarily. This is disconcerting for patients, and can cause an interruption in their regular care regimen that is often counter-productive.

Enter Triple Care™, a revolutionary system that brings physicians to a patient’s bedside using advanced tele-medicine.

Triple Care™ uses video technology and digital diagnostic tools to render a pinpoint virtual diagnosis. The patient is “examined” by qualified Board certified physician who determines a course of treatment. The entire process is done in close collaboration with the attending nursing staff as well as the patient’s regular physician, resulting in seamless care without the trauma and discomfort of an unnecessary ER visit.

The results have been swift and dramatic.

“Last week a patient was complaining of chest pains in the middle of the night,” says Joseph Bernfeld, administrator at Park Crescent. “In the past, this would have meant an ambulance ride to the ER and a hospital stay to ensure the patient’s stability. In this case, the Triple Care™ doctor determined that the patient was actually suffering from heartburn due to something he ingested.” Statistical evidence indicates that implementing the Triple Care™ system greatly reduces ER visits and improves patient outcomes.

The three facilities are the first members of the Ocean Healthcare Network to roll out the pilot program. It is anticipated that other network members will gradually follow suit.

“This is a huge breakthrough in quality care,” says Kiernan. Feedback from the medical community has been likewise enthusiastic.

As Kiernan says: “It’s the future of healthcare, but it’s happening right now at Ocean Healthcare Network facilities.”

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