As we look back at 2020, we can clearly see that telehealth adoption and use exploded. Acting as an ignition event for virtual care, the COVID-19 pandemic has inducted patients and providers alike into the benefits of evidence-based telemedicine. But not all telehealth solutions are equal – and in their haste to reach patients safely, many healthcare organizations have adopted an inadequate video service that puts their business and patients at risk.
These solutions like Zoom or even FaceTime initially seemed like a natural portal in our new remote world. They were a quick plug-and-play solution in a pandemic-driven critical demand situation But now they’re falling short for several reasons:
- They’re a high-security risk. Cybercrime has been on the rise in healthcare and introducing video tools that aren’t secure or even HIPAA compliant has opened a door to attacks.
- Because there’s no clinical data capture, providers can’t make evidence-based clinical decisions or treat complex conditions. These tools also lack the software and medical device capabilities needed to support specialty or disease-specific care.
- Video-only applications can’t exchange data with other provider systems – omitting critical patient information and creating gaps in reporting and billing. With information trapped in dead-end silos, virtual health consultation data is left out of population health strategies and other initiatives likeCMS data sharing and interoperability requirements.
- Without weaving full telehealth capabilities into their clinical infrastructure, healthcare organizations can’t progress to other healthcare technology innovations such as Artificial Intelligence or nanomedicine. Once considered a future development, these technologies are already in use at top facilities to help repair damaged cells, rectify genetic deficiencies, and treat chronic disease.
But perhaps the most critical reason is that virtual care delivery will long outlast the pandemic. Telehealth has been gaining popularity, especially with younger patients; 40 percent of Millennials ranked telemedicine as an “extremely or very important option” in a recent healthcare study. On the clinician side, providers are using telehealth to conference with colleagues, work from home as needed, and balance patient volume at facilities in their network. Some are treating patients in a distant underserved area and more than ever before, there are solutions to bridge gaps
In a healthcare landscape that is increasingly digital and interconnected, telemedicine is here to stay.
The Power of Data-Driven Telehealth
When providers transition from emergency use measures to a sustainable, integrated virtual health platform, they unlock the ability to deliver intelligent remote care. Data-based telehealth dissolves the above limitations to confer the following benefits:
- A secure healthcare experience. Attacks can pose not only a financial risk to healthcare organizations but impact care delivery as well. Today’s patients are savvy consumers as well, and looking for providers who can assure them of a HIPAA-compliant virtual experience that protects their sensitive data.
- Evidence-based care. We talk about this a lot. Clinicians need the information to make evidence-based decisions. Software that supports specialties and medical devices designed for virtual care like HD exam cameras, stethoscopes, and ultrasound probes have elevated telemedicine to a clinically advanced delivery model.
- Collaboration across the continuum of care. Integrating virtual visits into the EHR helps providers view a patient’s medical history and make informed decisions. They can also exchange medication lists, discharge summaries, and care plans, and virtually tap another clinician’s expertise.
- Successful data-driven initiatives. Let’s say it clearly: in healthcare, data is just another word for insight. Interoperability means more complete data to improve individual outcomes, provide predictive analytics for population health projects, and participate in regulatory data sharing requirements.
- A strong foundation for the future of healthcare technology. As more patients expect virtual options, and more healthcare systems develop AI and nanotechnology tools, facilities must create a solid telehealth infrastructure now – or they won’t be able to progress and compete in the future healthcare space.
Helping You Meet Your Interoperability Goals
GlobalMed has always been the leader in evidence-based telehealth – which is why our platform is designed to exchange data with a multitude of systems and EHRs. Our eNcounter® virtual health software offers a range of clinical data integration services. Dynamic Integration Management Services (DIMS) is an automated checking tool based on FHIR compatibility that detects and auto-syncs EHR changes. Our eNcounter® View (eView) video-conferencing application connects participants for live stream video conferencing and enables real-time sharing of medical data, such as images, data reports, and live video streams from connected exam cameras and probes. There’s no need to operate multiple platforms either. Secure diagnostic and clinical workflow capabilities with interoperable services are embedded into your existing GlobalMed platform.
Only a full virtual health platform will make it possible to fully serve patients and further business capabilities interfacing with all systems, from the electronic health record to the revenue cycle. It’s time to progress from stopgap measures to a complete virtual health solution that’s worthy of your healthcare goals.