The past year has been challenging for healthcare providers. Healthcare organizations big and small, in both the private and public sectors, have had to adapt quickly to new workflows and standards of care for patients.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to strain available resources and limit access for individuals. Supply shortages globally have also made it difficult to find the necessary equipment. Meanwhile, clinicians are still working tirelessly to provide preventive care, increased access, lower costs and more.
Enter digital tools like telehealth services mobile devices and modern IT infrastructure. These solutions have been marked on healthcare providers’ roadmaps for some time, but the latest challenges have accelerated adoption timelines for many.
Now, to find relief and prepare for the future, healthcare organizations and agencies alike are transforming their practices to include these innovative technologies.
Telehealth has historically been a slow adoption. However, due to the pandemic, it’s became a must-have for many healthcare providers. Organizations from all points of the care continuum are using telehealth to improve patient outcomes while empowering clinical workflows.
Adopting telehealth and the tools to support it will help:
Telehealth is more than just a video call over a laptop or mobile device. HIPAA-compliant security measures, data center and cloud resources, scheduling systems and electronic health record integrations all play an important role.
Managing a new solution can get complicated for overburdened IT staff and organizations with limited resources, but there are easy and secure ways to integrate telehealth. Leveraging the telehealth capabilities built into existing collaboration platforms, such as Microsoft Teams, is a simple way for organizations to offer virtual video appointments while maintaining regulatory compliance for HIPAA, HITECH, GDPR and more.
Meeting the need for devices
To slow the spread of COVID-19, healthcare organizations quickly transitioned entire teams to remote work, which meant provisioning new devices to support that shift. Meanwhile, patients, especially those at long-term care facilities, were suddenly isolated from the world. This led to a high demand for mobile devices that could connect patients to their providers and family members alike.
We believe mobility in healthcare is here to stay as it continues to accelerate the speed of care, expedite consultations and enable clinicians to see more patients daily.
These devices can help ease patient anxiety before surgery. They can also be used post-surgically or in long-term care facilities to connect patients with friends or family, which can improve the patient’s emotional state and potentially accelerate recovery. Applications can be enabled or developed that will educate and empower patients to manage their recovery plan and continue health maintenance after leaving the hospital. And deploying mobile devices can reduce readmissions.
At the end of the day, patients and clinicians have the same desire: improving patient outcomes to save lives.
While in-person visits are vital to supporting a patient’s health, the frequency of these appointments can be challenging, especially for those with chronic diseases like diabetes. That’s why clinicians are deploying remote patient monitoring, which uses a mix of hardware and software to record and analyze patient-provided data.
Leveraging remote patient monitoring helps clinicians design a care plan that’s not only unique to the patient’s needs, but also easy to follow, as the tools can send medication reminders and other helpful tips. Remote patient monitoring supports comprehensive care models that allow clinicians to better understand their patients, while improving patient engagement in the process. These tools have not only seen growth among private healthcare providers, but federal, state and local agencies have been turning to them too.
The healthcare industry has grown even more challenging in recent years. However, by adopting the latest technology solutions, organizations can embrace new care opportunities, create additional revenue streams and cut costs. More importantly, at the end of the day, procuring, deploying and managing the right tools can help healthcare companies support better patient outcomes both in-person and remote.