Telehealth has often been a central component of the delivery of technology-enabled care that helps hospitals, health systems and community practices provide quality treatment at a distance-and often achieve efficiencies, boost patient and provider satisfaction, and save costs. In response to the emergency COVID-19, the use of telehealth is increasing rapidly.
But as 2020 unfolds, telehealth is moving up with the COVID-19 pandemic seriously challenging the capability of the health system. Digital treatment and remote control were never in the spotlight before, as they are today.
Given the increasing demand for the health care system that handles COVID-19 patients, the growing need for specific isolation of patients and added measures to help ensure protection for clinicians is paramount. To help deliver quality care and reduce risk to patients and staff, telehealth capabilities and digital technology that allow virtual care and remote patient monitoring are on the rise.
Since COVID-19 is mainly a respiratory disease, patients with more serious cases can need ICU treatment. In the intensive care unit, a scarcity of critical-care intensivists and bed availability can compromise efficient patient flow through the hospital. The acuity-based rating systems from ECareManager track a patient’s condition to identify subtle deteriorations and harmful patterns before being adverse events.
Predictive Artificial Intelligence allowed algorithms like Sentry Score, which was developed to concentrate on a patient’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems, provide clinicians in the telehealth centre with predictive insights into patients who have the highest probability of needing intervention over the next 1hour.
As federal officials remove many of the regulatory and reimbursement barriers that have hindered more widespread telehealth adoption in the past, providers nationwide are using new technologies to deliver care amid social-distancing efforts to prevent coronavirus spread. Some vendors are even giving away products and services free.
Our nation is working relentlessly to improve the quality and access to healthcare. As our entire healthcare system is being forced to full capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a greater need for creative approaches to meet the demand of the healthcare access challenges facing our country. During this period of pressure, particularly the ability to access treatment is extremely limited as the focus must be on those directly affected by the virus.
Within the health care system, telehealth plays an increasingly critical role in reducing unnecessary patient and provider access to COVID-19.
As the available services concentrate on the COVID-19 pandemic, so there are still patients with pre-existing and chronic healthcare needs seeking treatment. These binary needs of equal importance establish far-reaching care delivery challenges that may permanently impact how healthcare is delivered moving forward.