Specialized Care Anytime, Anywhere: Telehealth Improves Outcomes for Chronically Ill

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by Perry Price, CEO and Co-Founder, Revation Systems

An increasingly aging population coupled with a shortage of healthcare providers has created a growing demand for doctors that, until recently, often meant a lower standard of customer service in the healthcare industry.

Older patients who are more likely to suffer from chronic conditions that require frequent, specialized care, have been forced to wait months to see specialists who are often located outside the patient’s immediate geography. This delayed potentially lifesaving treatment or diagnosis increases the cost of healthcare for patients, providers and the system as a whole, as patients who are unable to effectively manage their care become increasingly ill and eventually require more drastic intervention.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Digital technology has made it possible for patients and providers to schedule and attend virtual appointments and engage in the frequent back and forth communication that patients who are managing chronic conditions may require to maintain their health. When used to supplement in-office appointments, telehealth allows for convenient, cost-effective, and —most importantly — better health outcomes, dramatically improving specialized care.

Patients Make and Keep Appointments

When healthcare providers combine the effective use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) with a menu of digital healthcare options to supplement in-office visits, both patients and providers benefit from a dramatically-improved care experience.

When a patient’s continually-updated EHRs are available to any medical provider who treats that patient and communication between provider and patient is possible through a variety of multi-channel modalities, patients can experience convenient care regardless of where they are when they need it or how they prefer to access it—using their mobile phone or tablet as they do when making an online bank transfer if they’d like.

Convenient anytime, anywhere care options increase the likelihood that chronically ill or elderly patients whose family and friends are often involved in their care will help them effectively manage their appointments, improving the likelihood of earlier intervention and better health outcomes.

General Practitioners Gain Quick Access to Potentially Lifesaving Specialists

The following scenario is not uncommon: Joe has been admitted to the emergency room with severe abdominal pain for the second time this month. After performing numerous tests during his second visit, Joe’s healthcare provider decides he needs to see a specialist to receive a proper diagnosis. Unfortunately, a specialist is not available. Joe must wait for several hours until one can be reached or choose to go home (if he’s able) with a mild pain medication and a list of potential specialists who will likely be unavailable for several weeks.

Things would be dramatically different if Joe’s provider had implemented a digital health solution.

Telehealth solutions assist in dynamic specialist consults both in and outside the emergency room– virtual visits with specialists can be just as easily accessed on the computer in the clinical exam room. Digital healthcare-enabled providers can access a portal directly from their web browser where they can choose the area of specialty required. The healthcare provider can then enter a queue and be escalated to a pre-defined business process—determined by a host of conditions such as the time of day, or day of week— to reach an available specialist directly or locate an available resource who can provide further assistance.

The use of video and audio digital solutions to consult with specialists who may be located anywhere, drastically improves efficiency for all parties involved. Doctors or nurse practitioners can access a portal from a web browser while visiting with the patient in the exam room, allowing for instant, on-demand access to a specialist – without requiring extra time to search or travel between exam rooms to find one.

When implemented effectively, digital health solutions dramatically decrease the time healthcare providers spend searching for and working with available specialists, in turn dramatically decreasing the time patients spend waiting to receive what could be potentially lifesaving specialized care.

Healthcare Providers Better Manage Increased Demand for Specialized Care

As the population continues to age and the number of individuals who are managing chronic conditions continues to increase, a growing number of hospitals and other healthcare organizations are utilizing digital health solutions to keep pace with the ongoing demand for anytime, anywhere specialist consults.

Next-generation telehealth solutions enable healthcare organizations to offer providers fee-for-service access to an online portal that they can turn to when a dynamic specialist consultation is required, enabling general practitioners to better manage the increasing number of chronically ill patients seeking their care.

Those who offer an increasing array of digital healthcare options will more easily compete in the ever-changing consumer-focused healthcare market where the demand for swift, flexible service continues to intensify.

 

Perry Price brings a successful sales track record with high-growth technology and Fortune 500 companies to his work with Revation Systems. In his role of president / CEO, Price builds and grows the customer base, recruits qualified talent, and streamlines internal operations. Price utilizes his deep domain expertise in IP networking and communication applications, including telephony, unified communications, call-center technologies and messaging. He and the Revation team are dedicated to providing a secure, easy-to- use communications solution to industries such as healthcare and financial services.