Working for last 13 years in healthcare information technology space, it’s remarkable to see how the industry has matured, especially the innovation in Remote Care and TeleHealth market in last 2-3 years. The only solution in real sense has been, trying to extend its reach to the remotest of the patients irrespective of geography.
Health systems have realized the power of technology in improving chronic care management, behavioral health, referral management, provider-to-provider consultation, thus creating a new business opportunity to acquire and manage bigger patient population set. This is one of the reasons that energizes, motivates me and even others to engage in the field of Telehealth.
The sector is creating all humdrum to attract innovators across the globe, and is fast becoming a focus and driving force, attracting people to conferences and events like ATA, bringing key business initiatives along.
I am very positive about the future of Telehealth and off course there are reasons to it:
1: Tele-consulting has proven to be as effective as in-person clinic visit
Several studies conducted by various health systems have proved that tele-consultation is as efficient as in-person visit. A recent study conducted on Asthma patient by Children’s Mercy Hospital (CMH) in Kansas City showed similar improvements in both the groups treated over a period of 6 months, either via clinic visit or telemedicine. Hence, it was just a myth that has now been answered with a scientific approach.
2: Most efficient way to manage and provide services
Health systems have realized the true sense of Value based care using TeleHealth, a tool that manages population health. Providers are going beyond the basics of telehealth moving from consulting patients suffering with allergies to more justified time spent on managing chronic and complex cases. They now focus more on high-risk, high-cost patients providing rigorous follow-up to achieve better outcomes and prevent avoidable readmissions.
TeleHealth is enabling a paradigm shift in various healthcare setups:
- Behavioral Health - Many Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) that offer behavioral health care, are now turning to telepsychiatry providers that allow increased care capacity. These new age services empower health workers to provide routine psychiatric consultations, counselling to manage behavioral crisis, continuous education through real time video conferencing.
- Public Health programs for managing chronic care population, preventive programs like Diabetes and many more are being moved on integrating TeleHealth in the existing workflow.
- Specialty Care- e-Consult is an advanced workflow that allows primary care providers to securely share patient health information and discuss care plan using video conference. This can be typically seen in the Rural health clinics (RHC), Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) and Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)
There are examples of several early adopters who have smoothly managed redesigning care workflow to include telehealth capacity.
3: Ease of Integration with the existing physician workflow
Telehealth providers very well know the importance of integrating into existing physician workflow. Most of the leading providers are now seamlessly integrated with almost all leading EHRs. This drastically reduces redundant data entry in multiple systems. Integration is no more a requirement, it’s an industry standard.
4: Reimbursement of TeleHealth visit
Reimbursement is no more a hurdle, with almost all 50 states in support of telehealth visit. Both Federal, and commercial payers have realized the potential of telehealth to increase/promote the overall access to care, enhanced outcomes, and reduced healthcare costs.
5: Quick ROI
Health systems, Clinics, and specialty providers have potential to increase reach, at the same time better manage the existing patient population. With robust technology platforms, ease of integration, users will see enhanced operational, clinical, and financial efficiencies.
6: Innovation in Remote care
Psychiatrists, Therapists, Occupational and Specialist providers will take the forefront as the preferred telehealth service providers because they realize the benefits of adopting telehealth strategy. Patients are already wearing a hat of a consumer; their mindsets and disruptive expectations will drive innovation in remote care.
Providers should fine tune perfect balance between traditional offline and new online services.
Telehealth providers are quickly learning and adopting while anticipating industry needs.
We at Faichi Solutions focus heavily on development of Innovative and Emerging technology products, with ability to disrupt traditional healthcare practices. We strongly believe that telehealth has all the potential to deliver access to care, enhanced clinical outcomes, efficiencies, and reduced healthcare cost. We work closely with innovators to bring ideas to fruition. We will be at ATA2017 and would be happy to share our thoughts and learnings gained during our process of product development services.
For more information, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org