Viewpoint: 5 issues telehealth must address before permanent expansion 

Jackie Drees –
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020
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If telehealth is going to offer value to the healthcare system, it must attend to problems such as health equity and variations in health care while providing top quality and safe care, according to Shantanu Agrawal, MD, and Tejal Gandhi, MD

. For a Sept. 23 perspective short article published in Health Affairs, Dr. Agrawal, president and CEO of the National Quality Forum, and Dr. Gandhi, chief clinical safety officer at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, shared five difficulties telehealth must deal with if it is to be permanently broadened in Medicare.

5 objectives to enhance the worth of telehealth:.

1. Carry out telehealth to deal with health equity and reduce existing health disparities. Resolving equity will need a higher concentrate on culture and technique rather than technology, so for telehealth, that will require implementing services that reach underserved patient populations and assistance access to broadband, gadgets and translation services.

Find problems within longitudinal care that can be amended by telehealth. Patients will still require diagnostic screening, hospitalization and other institutional care, so presenting “tele-amendable” solutions that supplement care through digital apps and tools like remote tracking will assist service providers and patients understand the complete benefit of telehealth.

3. Manage quality and safety so it is enhancing within virtual care. To do this, health care companies need a clear structure for measurements based the Institute of Medicines 6 domains of quality with information points to assess the patient experience with telehealth services. This would include step of equity and gain access to, efficiency, patient experience and safety.

4. Develop guidelines, clinical requirements and expectations for both clinicians and patients to make sure telehealth is offered properly and without any more threat than as a physical encounter.

5. Produce a particular regulative and policy method that measures how suitable a particular telehealth service is based upon the patients requirements. For example, determine what kinds of issues warrant a video encounter versus telephone call.

Addressing equity will need a higher focus on culture and method rather than innovation, so for telehealth, that will need carrying out services that reach underserved patient populations and support access to broadband, gadgets and translation services.

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Find problems within longitudinal care that can be changed by telehealth. Patients will still need diagnostic testing, hospitalization and other institutional care, so introducing “tele-amendable” options that supplement care through digital apps and tools like remote tracking will help companies and clients recognize the full advantage of telehealth.

More articles on telehealth: Yale New Haven Health introduces telehealth community assistance program for COVID-19 patients, cliniciansHow NYU Langone changed its diabetes care through telehealth: 5 detailsAmazon broadens virtual medical center throughout Washington state: 5 details.

To do this, healthcare companies need a clear structure for measurements based the Institute of Medicines 6 domains of quality with information points to assess the patient experience with telehealth services. Produce a specific regulatory and policy method that determines how appropriate a specific telehealth service is based on the patients requirements.

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