eHealth Technologies Blog: Susan Barnes, Account Manager, eHealth Technologies
Legislative changes during the pandemic have driven a significant increase in the adoption of telehealth as a tool for consults, evaluation and follow of patient care.
As a result, health systems are realizing an opportunity to reach a wider patient base and expand their geographic regions of care. A recent report by Mckinsey & Company suggests that because of the pandemic, providers are experiencing a 50 to 175 percent increase in telehealth visits. Additionally, health systems have formed referral network partnerships to expand into otherwise inaccessible markets, connecting specialists to patients via telehealth.
For those health systems that have quickly adopted the expanded use of telehealth, they have seen many benefits. Telehealth has been proven to have a positive impact on multiple stages of the transplant process, including:
- Growth: From referral to post-transplant monitoring, the use of telehealth positively impacts the experience of the patient and the ability of a health system to increase the volume of patients that receive care through their transplant services. As demand for transplants and evaluations have increased at centers across the country, telehealth has become an important means of caring for more patients.
- Decreased wait times and reduced backlog: Nowhere is the need for timeliness of treatment felt more urgently than in transplant practices. Through the use of telehealth appointments, many patients have been able to move treatment plans ahead quickly. Centers that have adopted telehealth also have the added opportunity to address the growing backlog of patients waiting for completion of the evaluation process in order to schedule appointments for treatment plans.
- Increased productivity: Health systems realize immediate benefit in productivity within transplant services by scheduling more evaluations and referrals via telehealth and scheduling in-person consultations in a more timely manner.
- Fewer out of pocket costs for patients: During referral, evaluation and post-transplant care, patients realize travel-related savings, as well as the benefit of reduction in time to schedule a virtual visit versus an in-person visit.
- Wider reach and range: Caregivers are able to connect with patients in rural and remote areas, often in places where patients are underserved and lack access to health services.
It’s all upside, right?
While the benefits of telehealth may be obvious for some centers, an increase in patients can present its own challenges. Many health systems struggle with a turn-around time equal to or greater than two weeks which directly impacts how quickly patients can be evaluated and scheduled for treatment
So how does a center manage growth and an increase in demand for transplant centers under the new models and practices, like telehealth?
eHealth partners with the country’s fastest growing and highest volume transplant centers to help them manage the growing volume of requests and better serve their patients:
- Record Retrieval – dedicated team of professionals submitting provider requests and providing timely follow up for medical records, images and pathology from disparate systems
- Intelligent Clinical Record – organize information in a highly optimized and searchable format
- Streamlined Integrations – allow for easy access to patient demographics when submitting requests as well as integration of records and images directly into the EMR for ease of access by the physician.
With a team experienced in managing high volumes of requests and an average turn-around time of less than 5 days for records, pathology and images, eHealth Technologies is a vital partner in the management of overflow volumes and complex cases, relieving our clients of the burden of additional infrastructure and enabling them to continue to care for as many patients as possible in a timely manner. A partnership with eHealth is especially important as Transplant Departments look to grow volume with telehealth services and accelerate the patient intake process.