Loretto is Leading the Way in Technology, Improving the Lives of Their Patients

The only health and rehabilitation center in Upstate NY to offer groundbreaking technology

By: Kristen Penfield

Loretto’s vision has long been committed to caring for and improving the life of older adults in Central New York. Their focus is to continuously improve the many factors that can determine the happiness of their patients through trust, kindness, teamwork and leadership. What matters most? Our moms, our dads…our aging family. Longevity is one of the most significant accomplishments, and so many are achieving that. But, what good is it if the quality of life doesn’t match our years?

Joelle Margrey, Vice President of Skilled Nursing at Loretto said, “Our passion is our dedication to our patients and the population that we serve. It is extremely rewarding when we make a difference in someone’s life.” Margrey, who has been on Loretto’s team for eleven years, is constantly searching for ways in which to improve the quality of life in our aging population – caring for all levels of need and income level. “We celebrated three patients who turned 100 last month,” said Margrey.” The increasing trend is that our patients and their families have changing demands, loved ones living longer; we are meeting those demands in an innovative way. This is a new platform which enables diversification in our care, and we are quite proud. We honor the dignity and value of individuals without distinction,” added Margrey.

Last month Loretto opened a new unit – the first of its kind in Upstate New York – and only the sixth in New York State to provide this unprecedented medical technology. Their new TeliStat Restorative Care Unit (TRCU) is upgrading and improving their rehabilitation services.

Julie Sheedy, Vice President of Marketing and the Foundation is the leader in incorporating the technology in their facility.
Sheedy said, “The fundamental benefit of the Restorative Care Unit is the ability to significantly reduce hospital readmission rates – the national average is 20%; TeliStat is seeing results as low as 5%. That’s achieved through a combination of factors. Moving patients into a less acute, more-homelike environment to start rehab sooner while still being able to monitor a complex health issue has benefits for the patient and the hospital. In addition, this unit has a 1-to-6 nurse to patient ratio which is a significant benefit and improves the level of personalized care. Our nurses can be very hands-on with each patient. Real-time monitoring during rehab is also key; we can immediately see changes that could show a decline and respond proactively.
Sheedy added, “People are living longer, and many are staying home longer than ever before, so once they enter our facility they may have complications of aging, mixed with multiple diagnoses, that make them more complex to treat. We’re also seeing more and more cases of dementia, and many in people younger than we may have seen 5 or 10 years ago. 16% of our residents are under age 65, while we also continue to see more living beyond 100, so the span of who we are treating is much greater than ever before.”

The new unit, complete with 25 beds has portable monitors that track multiple health risks in real-time, allowing them to contact a doctor any time of day or night via a two-way camera. Patients wear a special watch that takes their vitals in real time and transfers them to a monitor for a doctor or nurse to oversee. Doctors can dispense medicine immediately, if necessary. This can even eliminate a trip to a hospital. Sheedy said, “As many are aware, a trip to a hospital takes a lot out of an elderly patient – both mentally and physically; for their family members, as well.” Sheedy added, “We, at Loretto, are evolving with the trends and seeing that our patients receive the absolute best care possible. With that, is better technology, faster and more accurate care. At the same time, keeping our face-to-face care with our doctors and nursing staff. The response has been tremendous.”

The founder of the Telistat Restorative Care Units is Dr. Anthony Bacchi. As a doctor and a nursing-home owner, he recognized a problem in the typical care in a nursing home and made it his mission to provide better care and a better facility. In 2015, Dr. Bacchi opened a prototype site in the Hudson Valley. This site had a readmission rate of under five percent, which is a fraction of the national average.

Loretto is proud to be the first in Central New York to offer this technology. As well, they have added additional medical staff, allowing them to care for hospital patients recovering from major cardiac surgery and diagnoses requiring hemodynamics and tele monitoring.

Sheedy said, “There is a big advantage for our own residents living with us, with this new unit. Someone who is living long-term care might have a sudden decline and can be easily moved to this unit temporarily to be monitored vs. sending directly to the hospital which can be very disruptive and disorienting for them.
Loretto is working with Upstate University Hospital, Crouse Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital to help serve their patients.

Loretto offers a plethora of services. Nineteen specialized care programs such as Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Social Work and Case Management, Assisted Living, Independent Living and more. Loretto also offers PACE, which is a program available to residents of Onondaga County for care at home.

To check availability at any time, contact the Loretto Admissions Department at 315.413.3400 or visit www.lorettocny.org/contact/key-contacts to obtain a list of admissions to several locations.