Posts Tagged ‘virtual visit’

Guest Post: Three Benefits to Using Virtual Care Services During Seasonal Epidemics

March 27th, 2018 by Dr. Delanor Doyle

Virtual Care

Virtual care benefits providers and patients.

This year, the flu epidemic reached an all-time high with 39 states experiencing high patient traffic and marking it as the most hectic season for hospitals since 2009. It seems every day in the news we heard about another state or city breaking a record for the most local flu cases of all time. It’s no wonder then that anyone, even medical professionals, were wary about coming into contact with others and being susceptible to the illness.

When a true epidemic breaks out, like this flu season, it is critical that healthcare providers encourage the use of virtual care services. This is important not only from a health perspective for themselves, but also because it benefits the patient in more ways than simply not having to get out of bed to go to the doctor’s office.

#1: Provides a Personalized, Holistic Care Approach

In the past, physicians would travel to the homes of their patients so the sick did not have to travel. With virtual care, physicians can actually return to this level of personalization. Now, physicians can talk with their patients one-on-one to relate to them on a deeper level—as if they were coming into their home—through the use of video conferencing capabilities. People want to relate to people so providing a face-to-face interaction virtually ensures the patient feels cared for and valued.

Additionally, there are many benefits to seeing the patient’s home or work environment that can help provide health advice that goes beyond a traditional visit. By seeing their surroundings, a physician may recognize triggers or red flags in the background that can help further diagnose a problem that wouldn’t otherwise be known from an office visit. This allows physicians to truly be care providers, as opposed to simply treating an illness.

#2: Improves Satisfaction in Level of Care Provided

We’ve all seen the emergency room that is full to the brim with patients waiting to be seen and feeling the level of stress rise in needing to get to every one of them as quickly as possible. During an epidemic like the flu, the ER is going to be packed and physicians will need to move from patient to patient quickly. However, they can actually do so just as fast, if not more so, virtually. Patients no longer have to become frustrated waiting hours in the ER intake room waiting to be seen. Instead, they receive more immediate care with less coordination and hassle at the office.

By using virtual care services, physicians are simplifying the process while also being able to scale faster. A dedicated virtual staff can answer patient questions efficiently while not losing the personal touch so they don’t feel rushed out of the office. Virtual care service removes the lag time between patients walking in and out of the office, allowing more time for care and the visit and the volume of those needing assistance decreases faster.

#3: Lower Out-of-Pocket costs While Increasing Retention Rates

It seems a patient’s immediate first step when they feel they are coming down with the flu or another quickly-spreading illness is to go to the ER or an urgent clinic because they want immediate care and do not want to wait to schedule an appointment with their primary care physician. Unfortunately, some of those types of visits are not covered by a patient’s insurance plan or they must pay an extremely high co-pay for it. As physicians, it is critical we better educate patients about virtual care services that can give them that immediate return that doesn’t cost them extra.

By reminding patients of these services and then providing quality care when they do utilize them, physician groups and healthcare organizations can build loyalty and begin shifting potential negative perceptions a patient might have about their provider. This allows providers to establish a true relationship with patients and be seen as a key resource for all health-related issues, which increases retention for reoccurring visits.

About the Author

Dr. Delanor Doyle

Dr. Delanor Doyle

Dr. Delanor Doyle is the chief medical officer of Texas Health Aetna, the jointly owned health plan focused on improving quality, affordability and overall member experience between Texas Health and Aetna. The company represents two leading healthcare organizations coming together to fundamentally transform the health care experience for members through technology-enabled, data-driven analytics and enhanced local care management. For more information, please visit www.texashealthaetna.com.

Infographic: Virtual Health Trends

August 8th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

With looming physician shortages, healthcare coverage expansions and increasing consumer demand for convenient care, virtual health is primed for future growth, according to a new infographic by SG2.

The infographic examines consumer demand for virtual health and the steps healthcare providers should take before implementing virtual health options.

Remote Monitoring of High-Risk Patients: Telehealth Protocols for Chronic Care ManagementReal-time remote management of high-risk populations curbed hospitalizations, hospital readmissions and ER visits for more than 80 percent of respondents and boosted self-management levels for nearly all remotely monitored patients, according to 2014 market data from the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN).

Remote Monitoring of High-Risk Patients: Telehealth Protocols for Chronic Care Management profiles a successful eight-year initiative by New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation’s (NYCHHC) House Calls Telehealth Program that significantly lowered patients’ A1C blood glucose levels.

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Infographic: Three Ways Virtual Clinics Improve Care Quality

May 30th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Integrated virtual care with Carena’s health system partners is outperforming leading commercial providers across three quality benchmarks, according to a new infographic by Carena. Patients who access integrated virtual care experience more time with clinicians, lower prescription rates and better continuity of care than those who use commercial telemedicine providers, which are often disconnected from patients’ primary care networks.

The infographic describes how health systems are meeting quality standards within their virtual clinics.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Digital HealthPerson-centric health management is slowly acknowledging the device-driven lives of patients and health plan members and incorporating these tools into care delivery and management efforts.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Digital Health examines program goals, platforms, components, development strategies, target populations and health conditions, patient engagement metrics, results and challenges reported by healthcare organizations responding to the February 2016 Digital Health survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

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Infographic: Virtual Healthcare

January 29th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Technologies such as hologram house calls, where a physician “visits” you in your home via a hologram link, and a virtual doctor app for your smartphone or tablet are just of the some of the ways that technology may be used in the future of healthcare. These innovations are projected to dramatically reduce the number of hours that doctors require for each of their patients and could potentially revolutionize the healthcare industry significantly, according to a new infographic by Home Healthcare Adaptations.

The infographic looks at the potential savings of virtual healthcare, benefits to healthcare professionals and patients, and challenges faced by virtual healthcare.

From home sensors that track daily motion and sleep abnormalities to video visits via teleconferencing, Humana’s nine pilots of remote patient monitoring test technologies to keep the frail elderly at home as long as possible. When integrated with telephonic care management, remote monitoring has helped to avert medical emergencies and preventable hospitalizations among individuals with serious medical and functional challenges.

In Remote Patient Monitoring for Enhanced Care Coordination: Technology to Manage an Aging Population, Gail Miller, vice president of telephonic clinical operations in Humana’s care management organization, Humana Cares/SeniorBridge, reviews Humana’s expanded continuum of care aimed at improving health outcomes, increasing satisfaction and reducing overall healthcare costs with a more holistic approach.

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Infographic: The Doctor Will “e-See” You Now

May 4th, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Eighty-four percent of people say their doctor’s offices have a patient portal, according to a new survey commissioned by eClinicalWorks and conducted online by Harris Poll among over 2,000 U.S. adults, in March 2015.

Of those whose doctors do have a patient portal, adults age 55+ (61%) are more likely to access their health information via this tool than adults age 18-54 (45%).

eClinicalWorks® has released an infographic on the study results, which also examines wearable use, online patient scheduling and physician-patient communication via online portals.

2015 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & TelemedicineThe world of digitally enabled care is exploding: the number of patients using telehealth services will rise to 7 million in 2018, according to IHS Technology; healthcare apps and ‘wearables’ are trending in technology circles and healthcare providers’ offices; and CMS’s new ‘Next Generation ACO’ model is expected to favor expanded telehealth coverage.

2015 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Telemedicine delivers actionable new telehealth metrics on technologies, program components, successes and ROI from 115 healthcare organizations. This 60-page report, now in its fourth year, documents benchmarks on current and planned telehealth and telemedicine initiatives, with historical perspective from 2009 to present.

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Infographic: Digital Impact on the Healthcare Customer Experience

March 14th, 2013 by Patricia Donovan

Results of a new Global Customer Experience Report from Cisco found that 74 percent of consumers are open to a virtual doctor visit. The survey studied the views of consumers and healthcare decision-makers (HCDMs) on sharing personal health data, participating in in-person medical consultation versus remote care and using technology to make recommendations on personal health.

Other areas covered in the report include the role of the Internet in healthcare and the most trusted sources of healthcare information. Overall, the data indicate on healthcare demonstrate a shift in consumer attitudes toward personal data, telemedicine and access to medical information.

Digital Impact on Healthcare Customer Experience

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You may also be interested in this related resource: Transforming Health Care: The Financial Impact of Technology, Electronic Tools and Data Mining.