Keeping patients and providers safe with virtual health
In-person healthcare delivery has traditionally been the standard of care. While many medical procedures necessitate face-to-face care, virtual health offers an optimized patient experience, enables real-time remote health monitoring, lowers costs and reduces risk in a wide variety of healthcare settings, such as primary, specialty and urgent care. At Cherokee Federal, we offer custom, scalable virtual health solutions for government agencies to provide a safer, more affordable patient experience.
Rapid technological advancements are supporting a shift to a virtual health environment by providing better security for private health information, reduced cost for patients and providers and accessibility for high-risk and underserved patient populations. Virtual health enables quicker access to appointment scheduling and care and offers a lower risk method to conduct mass medical screenings, such as periodic health assessments, disability assessments and community health assessments.
Benefits of Virtual Health
There are three key benefits health systems gain by leveraging a virtual health model: safety, affordability and accessibility.
COVID-19 was a major catalyst in the substantial increase in virtual healthcare. This shift illustrated how virtual health reduces the spread of infectious disease and keeps high-risk patients, providers and communities safe.
The cost efficiency and accessibility benefits have the potential to elevate Virtual health has while lowering the overhead cost of in-office visits. Additionally, virtual health has also been cost effective for patients, including a reduction in logistics, travel costs, as well as extraneous time constraints.
Furthermore, the affordability and mobile accessibility of a virtual health environment makes specialists and behavioral health providers available to historically underserved populations, including veterans, rural and tribal communities and service members abroad.
What to Expect From a Virtual Health Experience
When shifting to a virtual health environment, patients and providers are often concerned about how the patient experience will change. However, with the right virtual health infrastructure, providers can create a more efficient, affordable and positive patient experience from start to finish. So, what can be expected from a virtual patient experience?
- Appointment Scheduling. When scheduling a virtual appointment, it’s important that the doctor’s office sets expectations for the patient’s virtual visit, including how to submit patient paperwork online and how to connect to the virtual appointment.
- Facilitating a Convenient, Virtual Visit. By facilitating a virtual visit, patients have the convenience skipping the commute and long wait times. They simply connect to the appointment and receive immediate access to the provider.
- Remote Health Monitoring. Following the appointment, providers can prescribe on-demand health tracking, using medical devices connected directly to the office or to multiple device platforms. This provides a better method of healthcare delivery for patients and doctors, and opens up the line of communication without the need to schedule multiple follow-up appointments.
- Virtual Visits Reduce Costs. . Reduced overhead costs and better practice efficiency allows for more affordable care with virtual health. Patients can see a doctor virtually, eliminating the need for costs that can be associated with doctor visits such as travel, parking and childcare.
- Reduced Restrictions Improve Accessibility. Additionally, federal regulations on virtual health insurance coverage were rolled back due to COVID-19 to allow visits to be conducted by means that were previously restricted, including consultations conducted over the phone and through a digital platform. Bipartisan support suggests a continuation of reduced telehealth restrictions moving forward.
The coronavirus pandemic ignited a shift from in-person care to a virtual health environment. However, virtual health will be a permanent change in healthcare, not just a short-term solution.