Logicalis Healthcare Solutions Warns Healthcare CIOs: Telehealth Has Reached Its Tipping Point

Credit: Logicalis US

Solution Provider Says Now is the Time to Implement Telehealth Plans

It’s no secret that telehealth will be among the most talked about healthcare IT topics at HIMSS17 – a prediction perfectly aligned with last month’s revelation from the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) that telemedicine is its members’ top medical regulatory issue. According to Logicalis Healthcare Solutions, the healthcare-focused arm of Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider, telehealth is at a tipping point as the lines between healthcare and telehealth continue to blur. Soon, there will be no distinction between the two – telehealth will become a natural extension of the way medical care is provided. Logicalis warns that healthcare organizations that are unprepared for this change put themselves at risk of being overwhelmed by the coming onslaught of expectations and regulations as the consumerization of IT extends to the healthcare market.  To help healthcare CIOs transition to a successful telehealth implementation, Logicalis is offering a downloadable white paper, “How to Design and Implement a Successful Telehealth Program for Your Organization.”

“Younger generations of patients are digital natives, so a concept like telehealth is not foreign to them.  When possible, they would rather see their clinicians virtually than face-to-face.  Think of it like the transition from banking in front of a teller to online banking or from shopping in a store to using Amazon – the change that’s coming in healthcare will be just as widespread and radical,” says Ed Simcox, Practice Leader, Logicalis Healthcare Solutions. “To accommodate this, the regulatory environment is changing and the way that payers reimburse for telehealth is improving. Yet, a lot of healthcare organizations are still playing a wait-and-see game.  Our advice is to take strong initial steps now, planning the implementation of their telehealth programs and blending them into their overall clinical profile so they don’t get left behind by patients and payers alike.  Implementing telehealth doesn’t happen overnight – start now or you could miss the boat.”

How Does Telehealth Fit into the ONC’s Triple Aim?

As hospitals and healthcare systems work toward the ideal of value-based care, they are under tremendous pressure from payers to deliver better population health as a whole and from an increasingly younger patient demographic to deliver a more consumer-like healthcare experience.  Understandably, these pressures have led the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to adopt as one of its top missions the Triple Aim, three important healthcare industry goals originally conceived by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) for optimizing the performance of health systems.  The experts at Logicalis Healthcare Solutions point out that telehealth can contribute significantly to achieving each goal, a key indicator that telehealth’s time has come.

  1. Improve the Patient’s Care Experience: The goal of telehealth is to give patients anytime, anywhere access to quality care.  With telehealth, hospitals and healthcare systems can literally deliver the physician’s office via an app to a patient’s computer or mobile device. By taking the physical exam room or clinic out of the picture and putting the virtual version of that experience directly into the consumer’s hands, healthcare providers are taking the next step in the consumerization of healthcare IT and delivering the kind of digital service that will usher in a new frontier in medical care.
  2. Improve the Health of Populations: By making healthcare more easily accessible to entire populations of people that previously had physical or geographic limitations to receiving it, telehealth can improve the health of entire populations. Imagine, for example, a senior citizen who has trouble walking and can no longer drive – simply getting to the doctor for diagnoses and periodic followup examinations may be difficult which means such patients often forego recommended care.  Imagine, too, the difficulty for families who don’t have ready access to a reliable vehicle – how will they visit the doctor in person? Telehealth gives them an alternate solution.
  3. Reduce Per Capita Costs of Healthcare: When providers make it easier for patients to consume healthcare, patients become more compliant – and, typically, as compliance with medical advice improves, so does the patient’s health. By monitoring chronic conditions, for example, via telehealth, healthcare organizations can bend the cost curve for an entire population of at-risk people, improving each individual’s overall health and reducing the cost of care as a result.

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