Virtual Care and Digital Health: Beyond COVID Response
The Tegria Blog Aug 11, 2021
By Lisa Johnson, Tegria Managing Director
It wasn’t long ago when clinical care teams lacked sufficient data and information to fully support their patients. I remember this from my own work as a clinician for more than a decade. For years, we sought an electronic health record (EHR) system with add-on tools, which would create a wealth of patient information to improve care and the health of the communities we served.
Today, there’s data just about everywhere. The result of technology companies building tools that gather needed and life-saving healthcare information. Many of my fellow clinicians now tell me they are overwhelmed, and for good reason.
We are entering a brave new world in which patients will share data with providers from their own devices, while those same providers navigate secure data flowing through to other healthcare organizations and third-party modalities, all streaming into an EHR system in some fashion. Though fast-paced innovation is welcome, this data flood poses a real challenge for providers. We haven’t yet figured out how to rationalize the data and information in ways that make it actionable for providers and patients.
We have just scratched the surface on how healthcare data, if done well, can be foundational to bringing insights of patients and providers together in new ways for the good of all. But there are many outstanding questions. How do we overcome increasing data paralysis? When will we enable providers and patients to optimize their relationships and drive care together? What are we doing to advance preventative care instead of repeatedly dealing with acute situations?
We cannot solve these problems until technology innovators and healthcare experts come together to integrate new products and technology that providers can successfully integrate into their day-to-day workflows resulting in a more seamless, patient-care experience.
The starting principle should be that individualized and confidential care belongs to patients and providers, where, how, and when they want in a timely manner that improves delivery and accuracy of care. While the shift away from brick-and-mortar to click-and-mortar care will not happen overnight, the pandemic has shown us what is possible with virtual care and that informed and activated patients are well-equipped for this desired and needed modern transformation.
Second, innovative products and technology companies need to partner with healthcare organizations in bringing innovations to market that will improve day-to-day interactions with patients and providers in all care settings. Tools and technologies are meaningless unless we can determine how to integrate them into provider workflows and optimize patient care in real-life settings. Such digital tools and data offered throughout the patient cycle from recognizing a symptom and scheduling an appointment online with a provider, to receiving necessary care, lab results, and post-care instructions – traditionally or virtually – allow for interoperability between clinicians, specialists, and patients for a seamless experience for all.
At Tegria, we are focused on how we can help healthcare organizations navigate the rapid transition from brick-and-mortar care to the new model of caring for patients where they are. Our clinical solutions experts, who possess real-life, clinical experience and a deep understanding of healthcare IT, data, and innovation, are committed to bridging the gap between clinical and healthcare IT solutions.
These are turbulent, but innovative, times. In three to five years, I’m confident we’ll look back and realize how far we have come in creating new, transformative technologies that empower clinicians, improve patient outcomes, and build healthier communities.
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