Leveraging Telehealth

Leveraging Telehealth to Expand Access to Crucial Health Services during the Pandemic

So, are you having the mindset to upgrade your health organization to employ telehealth services for home health therapy? Research shows that more than half of all U.S. hospitals use telehealth and the trend is rising.

The importance of telemedicine cannot be overlooked in today’s time. Healthcare executives have found that around 90% of health providers have started investing in telemedicine programs. The healthcare providers smaller in size and having independent practices are starting to adopt telehealth to compete with local retail clinics and stop losing their patients.

The introduction of telehealth to the health industry has brought a transformational wave and is being widely adopted with its growing number of benefits it offers. Embracing new technologies and processes to your organization is a big move and needs a deep understanding of the significant benefits and the right fit to the use case.

Key benefits and use cases of telehealth services

Telehealth services have helped greatly in facilitating public health mitigation strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic by following the biggest norm of maintaining social distancing.

The services are a secure option for the patients by minimizing potential infectious exposures. The services also help in reducing the stress on healthcare systems by curtailing the surge of patient demand on facilities by the healthcare providers.

Following continued care to a certain extent acts as a shield towards the additional negative consequences from delayed preventive, chronic, or regular care. The remote access to healthcare services may increase participation for those who are medically or socially vulnerable not having ready access to providers. At times, it also helps to secure the patient-provider relationship, when an in-person visit is not feasible.

Leveraging Telehealth to Expand

The key use cases of telehealth services are as follows:

  • Telehealth helps in screening patients who may have symptoms of COVID-19 and refer for the right care.
  • The telehealth services deliver low-risk urgent care for non-COVID-19 scenarios, identifying those persons who might require additional medical assessment.
  • It empowers access to primary care specialists, including mental & behavioral health, for chronic health conditions as well as medication management.
  • Provide training and support for patients towards handling chronic health conditions, including weight management and nutrition counseling.
  • Empower participation in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other modalities as a hybrid approach to in-person care for optimal health.
  • Evaluate clinical signs of certain chronic medical conditions such as blood pressure, blood glucose, other remote assessments.
  • Telehealth services allow in management for patients who have difficulty accessing care, especially those who live in very rural settings, older adults, those with limited mobility.
  • The health providers can follow up with the patients after hospitalization and provide non-emergent care to residents in long-term care facilities.
  • Provide advance care planning and counseling to patients as well to the caregivers to document preferences if there is a risk to life or a medical crisis happens.
  • Provide education and training via peer-to-peer professional medical consultations for both inpatient or outpatient that are not available in the rural areas.

Main strategies to boost the deployment of telehealth services

Gradually telehealth services are being promoted and optimized for the safety of the patients while using the framework for health care systems providing general care to determine when in-person care is appropriate. Also include options for language interpretation, as needed. The key strategies to increase the uptake of telehealth services are as follows:

  • Telehealth services will help to communicate with insurers and the payers to understand the availability of covered telehealth, telemedicine, or nurse advice line services.
  • Going forward the use of tele-triage methods for assessing and caring for all patients to reduce the volume of persons seeking care in facilities, especially during COVID-19 times.
  • Provide easy outreach to the patients with limited technology & connectivity and offer flexibility in platforms that can be used for video consultation or non-video options, whenever required.

Reducing risk to healthcare workers

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the primary care physicians were the ones who were working tirelessly in the frontlines at ground zero. With the implementation of telehealth services, patients can be divided into the at-risk and not-at-risk groups.

Then the right measures can then be taken to control the risks to healthcare workers and patients. Physicians can go ahead with the right actions for the patients who have been pre-screened, saving precious time and curtailing the risks of transmission.

The service allows the chronic patients to come from home have scheduled teleconsultations to avoid in-person visits to the clinic and hence reduce their risks of exposure to COVID-19. The in-clinic visits with mild acute respiratory infection can be followed up very closely on a regular basis.

After the assessment, the chronic medicine can be delivered to the house of the patients. Also, direct clinic visits with mild infections can be followed up regularly. If there is any change in the clinical conditions, the right actions can be taken immediately.

Telehealth services offer a 24×7 lifeline for patients to connect to their providers. It offers great comfort and assurance to the patients in these tough times.

The surge of telehealth services for home health therapy

The telehealth services for home health therapy are witnessing a significant surge of direct-to-consumer telemedicine providers operating at a large scale. It helps healthcare organizations to provide care to patients who need special care after having some potential symptoms associated with the deadly coronavirus.

At the same time, it is foreseen that there is a fast-rising need for on-demand acute care via telehealth services. It comprises ICU programs that offer intensive care for the most critical patients. However, the tele-triage is exploding in terms of the number of use cases that involve determining when a patient presents in the emergency department whether they need to be issued a bed or keep the patient safe and to reduce potential exposures.

Telehealth helps to limit healthcare providers’ from exposure to the virus and other infectious diseases. In case a hospital worker is exposed without adequate protection, they will be isolated into self-quarantine. Using telehealth services for tele-triage is helping keep staff in a low-risk category for infection by completely eliminating exposure for those doctors or other hospital employees.

About Net Health

Net Health is reuniting caregivers with their calling through cloud-based software for specialty medical providers across the continuum of care. Net Health’s interoperable EHRs deliver end-to-end solutions that ensure compliance, improve outcomes, empower providers and inspire care.

The company serves over 14,000 facilities, including 98 percent of the largest hospital chains, two-thirds of skilled nursing facilities and many leading hospice organizations and private practices. Net Health is a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, Level Equity and Silversmith Capital Partners.