Telehealth technology improves outcomes by improving the way in which we deliver care. Secure technology allows healthcare organizations to allocate resources, improve processes, and open channels of communication in unprecedented ways.
Through most of 2020, the pandemic caused radical shifts in almost every aspect of daily life. After more than a year of disruption, we’re all looking forward to some semblance of normalcy. Yet, even as vaccines are administered, some pandemic-motivated changes are here to stay because their value is clear.
Telehealth is transforming healthcare and shaping the future of care delivery by:
- Using AI to facilitate front door triage.
- Using video for low acuity primary care provider visits.
- Tapping into eConsults for complex issues where a specialist needs to weigh-in.
- Using patient-to-doctor messaging for follow-up.
Telehealth tools connect patients to the right resources at the right time and in the right place. They benefit patients by addressing issues that predate COVID-19, like long wait times, specialist shortages, and rising healthcare costs.
Telehealth accelerates and evolves amid COVID-19
For years, the U.S. healthcare industry struggled to solve serious problems. The most pressing issues included provider shortages, months-long reduce wait times to see a specialist, and rising costs for both patients and healthcare organizations.
The pandemic worsened these problems and created a crisis of both availability and accessibility of care. Healthcare systems and their patients needed an immediate solution that could help address pre-existing problems as well as pandemic and post-pandemic demand for patient care.
Innovative solutions evolved to address many problems. HealthTech improved the ability of payors and health systems to provide efficient and safe care. Video conferencing software enabled providers to care for low-acuity patients while reducing unnecessary exposure to the coronavirus. eConsults empowered general practitioners and family practice physicians to care for their patients without additional appointments—optimizing ever-lengthening specialist queues and avoiding unnecessary face-to-face specialist visits.
Is the adoption of telehealth technology fleeting, or does it signal a long-term change in how care is delivered and where care can be accessed? Clear benefits, particularly in terms of patient outcomes, signal a continued need for telehealth, even as the pandemic abates. In a broad sense, telehealth improves outcomes by improving the way we deliver care.