Telehealth brings potential benefits to patients & providers alike
We have a special version of our audio blog this week because instead of asking the questions this week, Alex, our interviewer, and Senior Marketing Manager will be answering them. Take a listen!
[0:00] Introduction [1:19] The basics [2:05] Telehealth’s relevance [3:49] Advancing patient care [5:04] Supporting healthcare priorities [10:05] Barriers [11:32] Overcoming barriers [14:00] Conclusion
Guest: Alex Esquivel
Alex serves as the Senior Marketing Manager at Jacobus Consulting.
“In my opinion, telehealth could be a key component of helping facilities achieve the triple aim… it has the ability to break down many of the traditional barriers that prevent patients from accessing care…”
Alex has a strong interest in the role of new technologies in traditional healthcare. Check out her blog: “What CrossFit Can Teach Us About Population Health.”
The basics [1:19]
Telehealth refers to high-quality, real-time video encounters between patients and providers. Ideally, these interactions would take place on any device: a smartphone, tablet, or computer. An additional application could be provider-to-provider consults.
Telehealth’s relevance [2:05]
With the recent shift in healthcare toward consumerism and the popularity of the patient-centric model, changes to patient care and interaction have occurred. Facilities now have this concern about how to simultaneously extend care access, improve care quality, and lower the cost of care. Telehealth could be a key component of achieving this “triple aim.”
Advancing patient care [3:49]
Telehealth has a lot of potential in terms of meeting patients’ evolving needs. It breaks down many of the traditional barriers that prevent patients from accessing care like transportation needs, travel time, and mobility issues. Additionally, new research is beginning to indicate that it supports population health goals.
Supporting healthcare priorities [5:04]
Given the aging population and increasing expenditures on chronic disease management, a real-time telehealth platform has the potential to enhance support for patient populations suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes, CHF, hypertension, asthma/COPD, etc by increasing the patients’ number of visits/ touchpoints with a provider, which has also been shown to positively influence compliance.
Implementing a telehealth program is a big project, which requires a big investment. Not all facilities have the capital to begin a project of this size. Another issue is HIPAA compliance. Not all video platforms are currently HIPAA compliant, which poses obvious problems with telehealth patient care. Lastly, many insurance companies currently do not reimburse appropriately for telehealth visits.
Overcoming barriers [11:31]
In order to overcome the aforementioned barriers, organizations should establish a robust governance structure, research available technologies to find the best fit for the organization, and provide proper training and support.