Looking toward a future of telehealth
As the COVID-19 pandemic began its global impact, the modern healthcare industry was challenged like never before. Clinicians needed to treat patients with one of the most life-threatening, undocumented and contagious illnesses of recent times, all while protecting themselves, their staff and other patients. And while telehealth is not a new concept, the scale to which it needed to reach grew exponentially over the last year.
Telehealth is here to stay. But how did it change to meet the needs of patients and healthcare professionals spanning the entire globe?
For one, health IT vendors had to reimagine the scope and reach of telehealth technology. Patients are now consumers, and even before the pandemic, people were showing signs of wanting care delivered the way they wanted—conveniently and promptly, which sometimes means via a mobile device. So as the pandemic took hold and stay-at-home orders were enacted, telehealth served as the chief modality of care for many patients, specifically those with pre-pandemic chronic illnesses and other co-morbidities.
The transition to telehealth-heavy care delivery also affected clinicians’ experiences treating patients. Seeing patients virtually comes with its own set of nuanced challenges, specifically in terms of ensuring patients still feel heard. Adopting a strong “webside” manner is a new part of the job.
Whether or not the convenience of telehealth will prevail, what will prevail is the overall feeling that technology has brought us a long way, and that moving forward, much of the same primary care that had been delivered in exam rooms can be delivered from mobile devices.
In our newest issue of Next Now, “Telehealth: Reaching patients where they are, during COVID-19 and beyond,” Allscripts experts and clients discuss how critical telehealth strategies are in combating COVID-19. Through the pandemic’s onset, and into the beginning of recovery, telehealth has already proven to be a vital piece of many organizations’ care delivery, and this eMagazine highlights myriad aspects of developing the best strategy for achieving success in this new world of healthcare.