Pre-pandemic, when the conversation turned to “disruption in healthcare,” the topic often centered around the direct-to-consumer (D2C) telehealth model, what we call the “uberization of healthcare.” This new way was encroaching on locally relevant patient care and separating patients from their providers with “episodic” care. From the start, we’ve set out to disrupt that disruption.
Then COVID-19 hit the world and took healthcare disruption to a level beyond comprehension. And we were ready to support this intense new need.
The pandemic blew up Virtual Care (in a good way) and brought it instantly, urgently into the present. A new age of virtual healthcare was ushered in and rapidly changed the way providers, clinician, health plans and employers approached delivering care and how patients receive it.
TripleTree, an investment bank involved in digital health financing and innovation, discusses the virtual health market’s “massive leap forward” in its report “A New Era of Virtual Health.”
Virtual Health: Now a Core Element of the Healthcare Ecosystem
According to TripleTree, the first huge wave of adopting virtual health capabilities is over. This massive leap forward didn’t offer much breathing room to HCO leaders who, early on, had to scramble to provide virtual care.
It’s unlikely we’ll ever go back to pre-pandemic usage levels. For March - June 2020, telehealth saw a 30 percent usage, compare to the sparse .8% of American consumers that used telehealth in for that same timeframe in 2019, according to FAIR Health, an independent nonprofit that collects data for and manages the nation's largest database of privately billed health insurance claims and is entrusted with Medicare Parts A, B, and D claims data for 2013 to the present.
This all means health systems must be agile and ready to make moves. The next era of virtual health is here, and here to stay.
TripleTree marks this upheaval with a positive note: “Virtual health has fueled innovation and investment with an eye towards creating a more convenient, cost-effective, and high-quality healthcare system.” We at eVisit have a vision to simplify healthcare delivery to everyone, everywhere and so, we give that TripleTree statement a big Woo-Hoo!
As the report asserts, virtual healthcare lets healthcare leaders intelligently steer patients to a care modality that can address patients’ needs in a more accessible, timely and satisfying way. Many are calling it the hybrid care model where in-person and (remote) virtual care are utilized effectively to address patient needs and personal scenarios.
While quick-fix solutions helped millions of patients during the pandemic, health systems and clinicians now realize they need to pivot toward a sustainable virtual care strategy and one that addresses hybrid capabilities.
Prepare for the New Era: Keep These 3 Points in Mind
Despite the ongoing pressure to tackle this new era in virtual care, the world’s leading research firm, Gartner, notes that healthcare providers are thinking more strategically now that the first wave of COVID-19 is behind them. They’re moving from initial fragmented solutions to a long-term, enterprise-wide strategy.
If you’re doing the same, here are some key points to keep in mind as you look for effective virtual health solutions.
1.Go beyond two-way video and virtualize each step in the care process
Virtual care is more than a video visit. It’s an end-to-end solution that brings together every step in the care process. Adding it to your care strategy can:
- Enhance your clinical workflow
- Reduce friction points
- Improve patient outcomes and satisfaction
- Reduce costs
- Boost revenue
2.Follow the flow: use workflows to deliver efficient, effective virtual care
Why is it so vital to have an end-to-end, unified platform solution that virtualizes every step in the clinical workflow process? It lets your providers, whether they’re flying solo or have help from an admin staff member, deliver efficient, effective virtual care from start to finish.
Here’s what that end-to-end virtual care workflow allows you to do within a single system:
- Perform efficient scheduling, intake and digital waiting room management
- Conduct the virtual visit itself
- Chart, ePrescribe and discharge the patient
- Manage billing and payment
- See real-time data and reporting
The patient benefits from being able to enjoy a superior and easy-to-use user experience.
You’ll want to seek out a HIPPA-compliant, enterprise-grade and secure platform that integrates seamlessly with your EHR system and captures all patient data. Then you’ll have a seamless process that delivers sophisticated reporting and analytics tools for enhanced business intelligence.
3.Support your expert patient care with expert virtual care technology
We believe an effective end-to-end solution is one that seamlessly allows your health system to provide holistic care and wellness support from trusted, geographically relevant providers.
That’s why it’s important to strongly consider a platform that will enable your organization and carry you forward for years to come — from this era into the next. Look for a team of virtual care strategists and experts that have already establish offerings for some of the largest HCOs.
As eVisit CTO Miles Romney explains, “[Our] technology brings patients and care teams together wherever they are. It keeps the provider-patient relationship intact and at the center of it all, and that’s essential.”
Patients — now consumers — have already begun choosing providers, health systems and hospitals based on the availability of remote virtual care/telehealth access. Along those same lines, you may find yourself in the process of choosing a virtual care technology partner. Here are a few things to look for:
- A consultative approach where the team ask questions about your goals, needs, priorities and desired outcomes
- A virtual care strategy team that has successfully deployed virtual care across a range of healthcare organizations, clinical workflows and use cases
- A team that’s dedicated to powering your virtual care offering
- A team with independent industry credentials
Are You Ready?
The TripleTree report concludes with a prediction that in the coming years, there will be a market maturation that will lead to far-reaching strategies for integrated virtual care delivery, what many are calling hybrid care. The pandemic may have spurred engagement in virtual health and experts such as TripleTree predict that telehealth will become a lasting part of the healthcare landscape.
That’s why virtual care is about so much more than the technology. The telehealth vendor you choose should understand your organization’s virtual health priorities, your strengths and explore your opportunities to improve and deliver a holistic, hybrid care solution that enables your strategy and needs.
Virtual healthcare is a strategic way to deliver high-quality care efficiently and effectively — in this new era and in the exciting years ahead.
To learn more about the eVisit Virtual Care platform from our team of Virtual Care Consultants click the button below or learn more at eVisit.com.