The Need and Value for Connected Virtual Care

The Need and Value for Connected Virtual Care

A major reason acceptance and utilization of virtual care have grown so rapidly is that it benefits both patients and hospitals.

Telehealth is meeting the need for distributed care, but unless its clinical information and communication components are integrated properly with hospital systems, challenges with care coordination, security, patient experience and clinician satisfaction will remain. These challenges can all be mitigated by focusing on two aspects of telehealth systems: improving the user experience and enabling real-time collaboration (both patient-to-clinician and clinician-to-clinician), with access to relevant records and systems. Optimized telehealth systems that are integrated into the EHR can offer multiple, reliable communication options that make it easy for patients to log in and improve workflows for providers. An effective telehealth infrastructure can close the communication gaps that hinder collaboration and continuity of care and improve user experience and outcomes. A well-configured telehealth platform can support this in multiple ways, by integrating with workflows to enable seamless patient transfers to schedule follow-ups, or by making it easy for clinicians to collaborate with specialists or other colleagues without having to log into other systems. At a minimum, a telehealth platform should have communications and data sharing connectivity with all of an organization’s affiliated sites, support all commonly used devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc.), and provide a seamless transition from administrative workflows to virtual care delivery upon patient check-in for a virtual visit. To enable connected care at scale, telehealth platforms and their communications channels need to be better integrated across all the locations where care occurs and all the systems and devices that are used to provide it.

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