Telehealth is here to stay. Patients want it and providers need it. What was once seen as a temporary option for keeping patients and staff safe during the pandemic has become a solid fixture of our healthcare system. While the quick pivot to telehealth brought with it growing pains early on, providers have now fine-tuned their virtual care management processes to fit within existing clinical workflows. As provider organizations struggle to adapt to our “new normal,” they need to take stock of all the ways telehealth can help in this endeavor. Implementing a virtual care platform (VCP) can help.
The following are three areas of growing demand that a VCP can help address.
The move to telehealth was challenging for patients early in the pandemic, but that is no longer the case. Not only have patients become adept at using the technology, but most also say they appreciate the convenience telehealth provides, and they would like to keep it as an ongoing option. Today, more than 80% of patients would choose a provider that offers telemedicine over one that does not. ￼
A virtual care management Platform can help providers meet this demand while gaining a competitive advantage over organizations that have shuttered their telehealth services altogether. It can also help improve quality outcomes. A study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) found that telehealth can deliver “as good as or better than usual care” outcomes for specific populations.
An aging population
In addition to growing patient demand for telehealth services, providers face another new reality: An aging population. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 20% of the U.S. population will be 65 or older by 2030. ￼ Since older individuals typically have multiple, more complex chronic conditions that require greater clinical management, telehealth will be instrumental in caring for this growing population. ￼
One of the best opportunities to address this growing demand is through chronic disease management via remote patient observation over a Telehealth platform. According to research, Virtual Monitoring and Telehealth platforms can reduce hospitalizations by 35% and visits to the emergency department by 68% for patients with certain conditions. ￼ Being able to continuously monitor a patient’s condition regardless of their location enables providers to proactively intervene before complications can occur. This, in turn, helps reduce hospitalizations, readmissions, and visits to the emergency department. The result is more effective chronic disease management, improved outcomes, and an enhanced patient experience. It can also help optimize reimbursement for providers participating in a value-based care program.
Ongoing staffing shortages
A third reason providers need a Telehealth Virtual Platform is to reduce the impact of staffing shortages—a trend that is growingyears. ￼ And a 2022 report by Elsevier Health found that close to 47% of healthcare workers were planning to leave their current roles by 2025. ￼
Virtual care management can help provider organizations mitigate staffing shortages by enabling remote or onsite clinicians to see more patients virtually. It does this by allowing clinicians to seamlessly access a patient’s medical history through a single system, enhancing clinical workflows through increased efficiencies. Clinicians do not have to log into multiple systems to search for information. Because a VCP integrates within existing systems, clinicians have access to the data they need when and where they need it, reducing stress and providing a better patient experience.
The healthcare industry lost more than 500,000 workers a month between August and December of 2022. ￼
Benefits of virtual care management for providers
- See more patients with fewer resources
- More time spent caring for patients; less time chasing patient information
- Less stressful work environment
- Addresses fluctuation in demand
- Enables the expansion of service areas
- Supports Remote Patient Observation and chronic disease management
- Delivers a competitive advantage
- Supports TeleICUs and Eclinics
Benefits of virtual care management for patients
- Enhances convenience and access to timely care
- Enables better care for patients living in underserved areas like rural communities
- Can prevent unnecessary hospitalizations
- Increases access to high-demand specialists
- Enables more effective communication with the care team
Where to begin with virtual care management
A VCP is about more than video and audio equipment. The best VCPs (Virtual Care Platforms) are integrated solutions that enable better, more seamless care experiences across the continuum. When looking for a solution, providers should choose one that offers real-time virtual communication tools that integrate into their existing systems. This can help reduce the learning curve and improve clinician adoption, which means a faster return on their investment. Other features to look for include:
- Expanded video capability with turnkey functionality that enables more effective patient and provider collaboration
- Minimal configuration requirements with the ability to quickly scale
- Ability to leverage existing video and audio equipment
- Fully structured workflows that drive efficiency and support clinician collaboration
- Intuitive functionality that makes it easy for providers and patients to connect
A VCP allows providers and care teams to effectively collaborate on a patient’s care by giving them access to the information they need—within a structured clinical workflow—now it is needed. It enables virtual teams to schedule, triage, and provide video encounters between themselves, their patients, and the patient’s family. The result is improved outcomes, lower costs, and better patient experience. VidyoHealth can help.
The VidyoHealth Virtual Care Platform is the flexible, scalable, and intuitive solution providers need to meet the growing demands of patients, an aging population, and the ongoing staffing shortage. The VidyoHealth Virtual Care Platform enables providers to deliver fast, easy, and reliable virtual care management experiences to their patients.
Learn more at https://www.vidyohealth.com.