By Lee Horner, President, Stratus Video Telehealth
Care coordination is critical to ensuring that patients receive care that is aligned to their individual needs at all times, across all facilities, and across all care team members. As more healthcare providers and organizations seek to deliver patient-centric care, the delivery of care must evolve and leverage new technology for faster communication and better collaboration.
Whether a patient continues to reside as a guest in a facility or has returned home, telehealth is an increasingly viable solution for connecting care team members with their colleagues, patients, and their patients’ loved ones and/or caregivers. From reducing travel time to addressing language barriers, here’s how telehealth continues to elevate the continuum of care:
- Accessibility: After leaving a hospital or care facility, most patients look forward to returning to the comfort of their own home. And that’s exactly what telehealth can offer: with video-based care which allows patients to continue to receive top-notch care while recuperating in their home environment. In order to bring care closer to the home, many healthcare organizations are introducing video-based platforms which will engage their patients upon discharge. The result? Patients no longer need to worry about arranging transportation to a provider’s office—the care simply “travels” to the patients’ homes. And the benefits extend to care team members, too: by using telehealth to conduct video calls, care team members can minimize their own windshield time in traveling to patients’ homes or other care facilities.
- Availability: Whether in a care facility or at home, patients often have requests and emerging issues that have to be scheduled around their providers’ onsite or in-person availability. But with telehealth, provider networks can be available on-demand for patients. Instead of relying on scheduled calls, patients have the ability to simply click a button to launch a video call and receive quick answers from available care team members. Care team members can then escalate questions and concerns to appropriate providers and specialists; they can even add a pharmacist to a video call to help a patient with medication-related questions. Additionally, care team members can use telehealth to conduct video calls across roles and facilities, thus alleviating the need to travel to other locations.
- Applicability: Depending on a patient’s primary or preferred language (along with the patient’s level of healthcare literacy, a patient might not feel confident in their ability to communicate with their provider. According to a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, patients who did not receive professional interpretation at admission or both admission/discharge had an increase in their LOS (length of stay) and also were more likely to be readmitted with 30 days compared to patients who received interpretation. Using telehealth, care team members can incorporate certified interpreters in the video call to overcome the language barriers and ensure proper communication with patients .
The role of telehealth is quite similar to the focus of Santé – namely, providing a compassionate continuum of care. The more healthcare facilities, care team members, and patients realize that video conferencing technology enhances satisfaction and improves outcomes, the faster telehealth will be embraced across healthcare locations and roles. Exceptional care can be delivered outside of an organization’s four walls when all care team members can easily, conveniently, and effectively collaborate on bringing care to the patient’s home. Using a video-based platform can drive coordinated care that is more accessible, available, and applicable for all.
Author: Lee Horner, President, Stratus Telehealth
Bio: Lee Horner is charged with leading the overall strategic direction of the Stratus Video Telehealth Division. Lee is responsible for driving revenue by generating new business and leveraging relationships with existing clients. As a healthcare technology thought leader, Lee brings over 25 years of enterprise operating experience and has a proven track record as a key executive leader of sales, marketing and professional services for healthcare technology companies. Prior to joining Stratus in April of 2016, Lee served as President of Care Cloud, where he was responsible for overseeing and driving significant top and bottom line growth while focusing on technology excellence and client satisfaction.