Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Uphill Climb To Virtual Care

What should executives keep in mind as they consider the expanding acceptance of and preference for virtual care delivery among consumers and payers? There are three big considerations that are outlined in Virtual Care Demand Could Test Care Providers’ Health IT Infrastructure In 2015, a piece by Harry Wang, the lead analyst for Parks Associates’ digital health research program, that appeared recently in Computerworld.

  1. The video revolution has its challenges – While traditional patient portals are probably fine, according to Mr. Wang, interactive communications services using video could be a potential area for trouble. The issues to consider include video player configurations and related software challenges, system capabilities and reliability for increased video traffic, and security.
  2. Real-time health information exchange is the expectation – Virtual care increases timely access to professionals, and consumers expect their medical records to keep up. Increasing use of telehealth will highlight the problems of interoperability (see Net Neutrality Is About More Than Streaming Movies and Interoperable Electronic Data Exchange Is Non-Existent Among Long-Term Care Provider Organizations). Consumers expect timely access to past health records, lab tests, and diagnostic imaging.
  3. Dealing with all that remote monitoring data – The most advanced of virtual care systems leverage consumer self-monitoring capabilities, and integrated them into virtual care sessions. It sounds quite simple, but how such data will be fed into electronic health records (EHR) without delay and then compared with similar historical data is no simple matter. And, it is critically important to both the consumer experience and realizing cost savings from e-health.

From the article "The Uphill Climb To Virtual Care" by Monica E. Oss.

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