At the center of Signature HealthCARE’s mission statement is a commitment to revolutionizing “the healthcare experience for those we serve, through an innovative culture of person-directed care…driven by…learning and purpose.” It is this very mission that lead to a company-wide partnership five years ago with telemedicine company, YourDoc2U. At that time, a sweeping global pandemic wasn’t at the forefront of anyone’s mind.

Signature HealthCARE had no idea how their five-year affiliation with a telehealth company would revolutionize the impact of the telemedicine industry and sustain our residents, their families and doctors on multiple levels during a COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2019, Signature HealthCARE completed its YourDoc2U telehealth rollout to all its facilities in its 10-state long-term care network. The timing could not have been more crucial for Signature HealthCARE as an unexpected pandemic would surface in early 2020.

YourDoc2U maximizes person-directed care with a mobile and transportable platform equipped with a computer monitor, microphone, camera and diagnostic equipment that allows patients, with the help of staff, to provide information to another medical professional who is at a different location, all while at a patient’s bedside and in the patient’s room. Over the past five years, this ability has connected a large variety of medical providers with their patients, including primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, and specialists such as cardiologist, pulmonologist and more. These medical professionals are able to integrate crucial devices such as stethoscopes, otoscopes, wound cameras and more to provide high quality care and thorough evaluation and consultation, all while the patient remains comfortable, in place, and in their own room. In a pandemic, this ability expanded in more ways than one.

At the very start of this pandemic, Signature HealthCARE began using telehealth as it was
originally intended, connecting patients with their doctors, virtually and remotely. But within days, it became clear that telehealth was critical to patient engagement in another way; with their families. In the same way patients could connect to a doctor, Signature HealthCARE used YourDoc2U to allow families to interface and connect with their loved ones after restricted visitation began, virtually. This proved to help combat loneliness and depression and provided needed connection to family during a difficult time.

COVID-19 has shown no mercy in terms of who it targets, and before telehealth, an asymptomatic doctor or primary care physician who tested positive for the virus wouldn’t have been able to see a patient. But the YourDoc2U platform has been used in that very circumstance. Quarantined doctors could use YourDoc2U in the safety of their home, and still connect with their patients, virtually face to face, without putting a facility or their residents at risk. Furthermore, it expanded a facility’s ability to connect with their medical directors and other providers, delivering various levels of care to their residents.