October 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm #171525
Studies have shown that patients are interested in healthcare providers taking a more active role in their overall health and wellness, and not just caring for them when they’re sick. In fact, according to a recent survey, 80 percent of respondents stated that a healthcare provider’s job needs to be more about preventative medicine, wellness and chronic disease management than simply treating disease.
Luckily, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) put incentives in place for hospitals and other healthcare providers to adopt electronic health records (EHRs). The movement towards EHRs has created a sea of healthcare data that is empowering healthcare providers to do so much more for patients than simply examine and prescribe medicines or treatments when they’re sick or injured.
By analyzing the data available about their patients, healthcare providers can become more proactive and embrace a more patient-centric form of care. They can identify the patients that are most likely to develop chronic conditions or suffer from certain diseases and proactively reach out with information and recommendations for making healthy choices.
However, once these at-risk patients are identified, a new challenge is created. What is the most effective way of communicating with and engaging these patients in their own care? Collaborative video for healthcare is the answer.
Utilizing today’s advanced Unified Communications (UC) technologies, such as video teleconferencing (VTC), healthcare providers, case managers, discharge planners, and members of Affordable Care Organizations (ACOs) and health advocates can collaborate – creating a video enabled health community where patients, and providers, can have face-to-face conversations. These conversations can center on the behavioral changes and lifestyle choices that they can embrace to promote wellness, and to prevent them from getting worse. Not only can they meet one to one, but with collaborative video they can reach out to the masses on multipoint and streamed video calls for educational and support sessions.
What are your thoughts? Do you have experience providing or receiving patient care via video?
October 24, 2012 at 7:36 pm #171531
Erik G EitelMember
Do you think people might be hesitant to receive health care via video due to the lack of personal attention? Many people choose their doctors carefully for that very reason. Great points though. Could expedite things when it’s only a minor health concern.
October 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm #171529
I think it depends on the person, there’s a lot of studies and research with this right now, especially with the use of mobile technologies which are helping to drive this. Hospitals are under pressure to reduce costs, especially with readmission rates — or they will be penalized. One of the ways hospitals are reducing readmission rates are by implementing technologies in the hospital that help educate and interact with patients, thus increasing patient engagement and satisfaction scores.
I actually work with a client that offers one of these technologies, Interactive Patient Care (IPC), in which hospitals have in place to drive patient engagement (http://www.transformativehealth.info). These technologies are also set up with a hospitals network to communicate with patients post discharge on their computers, telephone, mobile devices etc. Ultimately this level of communication has been shown to reduce readmission rates, similar to what Calista discusses with VTC.
October 25, 2012 at 3:59 pm #171527
Thanks for the feedback Erik.You bring up a great point. But I think one thing to consider is that just because someone is a doctor, does not mean they have a good bedside manner, which is why many people have carefully chosen their doctor. Speaking from personal experience, a great doctor is a rare commodity and something to be valued. But I think that if a doctor is good in person, there’s a good chance they’ll be just as great over video as well. It has more to do with caring about patients than it does about the technology.
Also, there are a number of studies out right now that show that VTC/telehealth/telemedicine/mhealth has many, many uses for many types of health conditions, not just the minor ones. Telemedicine for veterans has helped increase the care available to our heroes in uniform (http://www.techsource.ironbow.com/unified-communication/department-of-veterans-affairs-embraces-telehealth-for-extended-care-to-veterans/) and many people with chronic health conditions are finding better results in managing their conditions thanks to VTC (http://feduc.us/unified-communications/overcoming-chronic-conditions-with-collaborative-video-for-healthcare/).
And thanks also for your input Eric. It sounds like IPC really has some interesting and relevant uses within the healthcare industry. Thanks for sharing!
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