Matrix Medical Network® (Matrix), a clinical services organization that gives health plans and employers the tools and knowledge they need to manage the health of at-risk populations at home and at work, announced the results of a survey conducted in recognition of National Nurse Practitioner Week, Nov. 8-14, 2020. The survey’s purpose was to assess nurse practitioner (NP) attitudes toward various developments and challenges related to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.
A key survey question inquired about the impact of telehealth technology on respondents’ nursing abilities. Early in the pandemic, as many states went on full or partial lockdown, health plans were restricting NPs from making in-home visits. Organizations such as Matrix overcame that barrier by expanding their use of telehealth, including telephone or voice-and-video calls over the Internet, to continue performing health assessments and a breadth of other clinical services for health plan members. More than nine out of ten NPs reported at least somewhat of a positive impact, with 45 percent saying it was very positive. Only 3 percent found it to be negative, with none stating it was “very negative.”
“A lot of our members are elderly, and some are afraid to leave the house for fear of contracting COVID-19,” one nurse practitioner shared. “That makes telehealth crucial for this population because it might be the only type of health-related visit they get during this pandemic. Telehealth enabled us to adapt what we do to the unfortunate circumstances we as a nation find ourselves in so we can continue to deliver access to care, and the power of human touch without the physical touch, in their time of great need.”
Yet it wasn’t only the members who benefitted from the use of telehealth. The NPs surveyed were largely grateful this option was available to maintain care, and that it was implemented so quickly and supported so deeply by their organizations.
“Telehealth has proven its effectiveness in bringing NPs and members closer together and improving care, even when there isn’t a global pandemic in play,” said Laura Jonsson, chief clinical officer at Matrix Medical Network. “We at Matrix have seen how much having a telehealth option improves NP job satisfaction as well as member satisfaction, and plan to expand its use to further our mission of meeting members where they live or work.”
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