Due to government mandated COVID-19 restrictions as well as recommendations that healthcare experts have made on dealing with the virus, healthcare providers have had to drastically shift the way they run their practices and treat their patients during this epidemic. Many have shifted to working remote or to implementing telehealth solutions that will keep potentially contagious patients from infecting others. There are many challenges that come with this kind of change, but with the correct technology, it is possible to successfully treat patients remotely, maintain privacy and security of data, and protect the staff and general population.
Patients who access traditional healthcare at their providers’ offices or clinics are already familiar with some telehealth strategies. These include navigating telephone systems with options for hearing open hours, detailing steps to take for seeking care, making appointments, and getting refills for prescriptions. Healthcare offices during the COVID-19 outbreak have sought to add additional digital solutions to help patients:
- Check their symptoms
- Ascertain if testing would be beneficial
- Assess their mental health
- Seek emergency care if necessary
- Manage quarantine of COVID-19 patients
During the worst part of the coronavirus outbreak, governments and healthcare professionals strongly encouraged patients to use remote care in order to ease the pressure on healthcare systems and protect other patients and staff. How successful these interactions were depended on how robust and user friendly the systems involved were.
Many companies in the private sector also offered their own solutions to customers looking for healthcare. Walgreens expanded it’s telehealth program, offering a website and mobile health app that provided COVID-19 risk assessment and assistance seeking healthcare providers. Customers worried about their health and symptoms used the mobile app to make more informed decisions and find help if necessary.
As with any other technology-based solution, there are always challenges involved in installing any new technology, as well as training staff or patients to use it. Moss has assisted a number of clients in the healthcare industry during the recent outbreak. We helped transform the TCF Center in Detroit into a Coronavirus Field Hospital. We also installed technology for Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo when they set up their command center as a way to assess and prepare for the needs of coronavirus patients.
Many people may see telehealth solutions as something only necessary during a pandemic, but they can also be used to provide care alternatives during cold and flu season or for patients with mobility issues. With the right technology driving operations and patient care, healthcare providers in cities and communities across Michigan can create better outcomes with less exposure to risk. At Moss we look forward to being a part of that transformational process. If your office or clinic would like to upgrade your telehealth capabilities, call us. We would love to help you come up with the best solution for the needs of your patients and staff.