ClickCare Café

Why Telemedicine’s Efficiency is About Humanity, Not Money

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Tue, Jun 26, 2018 @ 06:00 AM

annie-spratt-693090-unsplashMany times, our conversations with hospital systems about iClickCare boil down to dollars and cents.

We argue that Hybrid Store-and-Forward® telemedicine, like iClickCare, is important because it reduces readmissions, reduces length of stay, improves outcomes, and decreases costs. The ROI is strongly positive.

But in reality, those metrics aren’t what pull us out of bed every morning, excited to do the work. In reality, what motivates us are the human stories behind each and every case that is facilitated by Hybrid Store-and-Forward telemedicine. It’s about individual patients thriving more, surviving life-threatening illness, and living the lives they were meant to live. But how exactly does telemedicine help with that? A pediatric neurology resident described how.

A pediatric neurology resident shared her story in the New York Times recently. She had a stroke as a baby and lost the use of her right side as a child, for the most part. When she was 4, she and her cousins were climbing trees and she realized she couldn’t reach up and grab the branches with her right hand, like the other kids could. Sad and scared, she had little idea how this limitation would evolve in her life.

As it turned out, the moment that the author realized her limitation was the moment that she decided she would learn to do as much as she possibly could. Encouraged by her parents as well, Waldron stayed after school to work on the monkey bars, played high school basketball, and was a competitive mountain bike racer. She was far from defined by her disability. And she credits her success in this way to all of the “regular life” things she did that were ultimately therapeutic for her, dramatically expanding her abilities.

As the author shares, “Sports, video games, music, friends, bedtime stories, drawing, climbing trees, going sledding, playing with dolls, building with blocks, rough housing with siblings, participating in childhood in whatever way possible, builds confidence and synapses.”  Each of these moments in her life was actually part of her treatment. And the less time she spent in the hospital or doctor’s office, the most time she had for these activities that were the way in which she improved.

To me, this story shows how important it is for medical treatments to get out of the way of the patient’s life.

Especially for children with life-threatening conditions, like a stroke or cancer, it’s easy for the medical team to use an “at any cost” approach. It doesn't matter how expensive the care, how many doctors' visits it takes, or how much time we spend driving to hospitals. But for all patients, especially pediatric patients, it’s important to remember that play and school and life aren’t just “quality of life” issues — they’re actually core parts of the patient’s recovery.

That’s why when I tell colleagues that iClickCare facilitates medical collaboration such that the time patients wait for appointments, or the amount of travel they have to do, isn’t about ease or saving time. It’s about making sure that the therapeutic reality of their life is as un-curtailed as possible. Healthcare collaboration, supported by technology like Hybrid Store-and-Forward telemedicine, can have a dramatic impact on each patient getting back to regular life as quickly and efficiently as possible.

This saves the medical system money, of course— but it also means that a child might be able to climb a tree rather than sitting in a waiting room. And that can mean a dramatically better outcome. 

 

ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward

Tags: hybrid store and forward medical collaboration, telemedicine solutions

Where Healthcare Collaboration, Telemedicine, and Patient Navigation Intersect

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Jun 07, 2018 @ 06:00 AM

rawpixel-603653-unsplashOncology care is one area where care coordination, access to good care, and healthcare collaboration come to the fore.

The stakes are very high, the treatments are long-term and complex, care teams are interdisciplinary and cross the continuum of care, and there are often outcome disparities related to socioeconomic status. 

So I was really interested to review the proceedings of a workshop looking at Establishing Effective Patient Navigation Programs in Oncology, published by the National Academy of Sciences. The work raised some important questions about when patient navigation is effective, what problems it solves -- and what its crucial shortcomings are.

The context for the publishing of the proceedings of this workshop: The National Academy of Sciences, who published it, was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. In itself, it is a fascinating example of interdisciplinary collaboration.

The question explored in this workshop is whether, how, and under what circumstances, patient navigation can be a key tool for improving oncology outcomes. Of course, delivering high-quality cancer care to all patients presents numerous challenges, including difficulties with care coordination and access. The supposition is that "patient navigation" can be an important tool for meeting these challenges.

Patient navigation is defined in the paper as, "a community-based service delivery intervention designed to promote access to timely diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other chronic diseases by eliminating barriers to care.” (Freeman and Rodriguez, 2011). Navigation can improve early detection and screening, increase clinical trial enrollment, and remove barriers to care, etc.

How does that relate to healthcare collaboration?  In one way it is the same. The goals are the same, and the impetus for the development of the practice is the same. On the other hand, there are a few key differences. Patient navigation: 

  • It is disease-specific. Instead of looking at the whole patient across the continuum of care they need, the program focuses on cancer care.
  • It is centralized. Ultimately, patient navigation is a centralized hub approach. There is a central patient navigator, not team collaboration among all the parts of the team.
  • It doesn't change the fundamental care and collaboration patterns. Patient navigation is a bit of a stop-gap for a medical system that's working in sub-par ways, rather than a more fundamental transformative tool in how we do medicine in the first place.

Key unresolved questions of patient navigation are described: 

"Unresolved questions include where patient navigation programs should be deployed, and which patients should be prioritized to receive navigation services when resources are limited. Patient navigation systems are often implemented as an attempt to address socioeconomic disparities in care delivery. Therefore, many interventions have been clustered in pre-dominantly minority and economically underserved areas, often in urban cancer centers. However, navigation programs often go beyond poor and underserved patients, to aid all patients. Experts also continue to debate whether patient navigation should be proactive or reactive, and who benefits most from using navigation programs, particularly with regard to ongoing concerns about the cost and value of care."

The description of these unresolved questions brought to the fore one of my key concerns about the patient navigation model. Everyone, everywhere, deserves and should receive collaborative, connected care. In order for that to be a reality, however, that would mean that our workflows would be supportive of collaboration throughout medicine, not that we create workarounds to treat the consequences of care when it's not collaborative. Patient navigation requires an assigned navigator -- which is an expense -- rather than enabling more efficient and time-proven workflows that are enhanced by technology such as Hybrid Store-and-Forward Telemedicine.

On one hand, this kind of patient navigation initiative is deeply impressive. Healthcare is facing so many challenges that if we don't have some "stop gap" programs patients will certainly be suffering needlessly. But so many parts of this feel like band-aids. The patient navigation itself is a bit of a band-aid for a system that isn't enabling its healthcare providers to collaborate. And then even the tools that patient navigation programs are encouraged to employ -- like videoconferencing -- to oversee navigation, are not as helpful as transforming workflows and enable true team collaboration. 

Ultimately, I'm firmly in support of this kind of program. I'm also in support of programs that seek to shift the structures, workflows, and systems whose limitations create the need for this kind of program in the first place. 

 

For more on Hybrid Store-and-Forward telemedicine, download our free guide here:

ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward

Tags: hybrid store and forward medical collaboration, care coordination, healthcare collaboration

Collaboration and Stories Might Be What Makes Humans Unique

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Tue, May 15, 2018 @ 06:00 AM

bernard-hermant-665070-unsplashI’ve been meaning to read the book Sapiens for a while now. Billed as a “brief history of mankind,” the book looks at 70,000 years of history and science to explore what makes us human.

Recently, though, a friend summarized the book's main conclusion and theme — and his summary stopped me in my tracks.

There are a lot of learning from the book, he said, but “Overall, the most important is that it is collaboration and stories that make humans different from animals — collaboration and stories.”  Collaboration and stories -- two things that seem so optional, so subtle -- could these really be the things that make us unique, make us powerful, and make us tick?

The book’s author, Yuval Noah Harari, was interviewed by Smithsonian recently, and elaborated on each topic as follows…

On how humans use stories:

“The truly unique trait of Sapiens is our ability to create and believe fiction. All other animals use their communication system to describe reality. We use our communication system to create new realities.”

On how humans cooperate and collaborate:

“The Sapiens secret of success is large-scale flexible cooperation. This has made us masters of the world. But at the same time it has made us dependent for our very survival on vast networks of cooperation.”

 

These insights are important for medicine, as well. It’s so easy for all of our institutions, technology, and systems to strip away what is most human about us. It’s easy for our medical practice to become very literally “dehumanized and dehumanizing” in our pursuit of efficiency -- we literally cut out collaboration and stories in order to save time and money.

When we are forced to rush through visits, we miss the stories that make the patient who she is. When the only collaboration tool we have is uni-directional text messaging, our ability to collaborate and cooperate in complex ways is limited.

That’s why I believe that initiatives that re-embed medical care back into our personal contexts, that allow us to connect with each other in rich ways, are those that end up being most effective and most powerful. Ironically, sometimes these initiatives are almost laughably simple. For instance, Cleveland Clinic is creating a "groundbreaking initiative" affecting 50,000 providers -- which amounts to little more than a reminder to remember patients' stories and to have empathy. Certainly this is backed up by the Sapiens author, but not very surprising for most good healthcare providers. (Of course, trying to systematize something like empathy can backfire in unintended ways, but here I'm just highlighting the interesting nature of the initiative existing at all.)

It's certainly why iClickCare is intuitive to use, allows rich and complex sharing (pictures, long form narrative, and videos) in consultations, and supports multi-directional, complex collaboration. 

In some ways, what's most groundbreaking in medicine is actually that which brings us back to our core as people -- and that's always been pretty simple. 

Learn more about how hybrid store-and-forward allows for rich, simple collaboration: 

ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward

Tags: hybrid store and forward medical collaboration, hippa secure healthcare collaboration

When It Comes to Telemedicine, People Matter More Than Tech

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, May 03, 2018 @ 06:00 AM

charles-deluvio-456508-unsplashIt sounds idealistic to say that people matter more than money or technology.

But when it comes to insurance companies, they tend to be far from idealistic and very clear on their profit motive. So we stopped and took notice recently when their actions seemed to show that even they think that when it comes to healthcare, doctors matter more than many other factors.

Fierce Healthcare reports that insurance companies are increasingly buying physician practices, rather than large hospital systems or other entities.

And the characteristics they are looking for in those practices is illuminating. It's not necessarily hard assets, proprietary tech, or other "rock-star" qualities. According to Fierce Healthcare, in the practices that insurers are buying, the commonalities seem to be that the practices are:

  • Physician-led.
    Cost-control and quality improvement are more likely to happen when practitioners themselves have a stake in the outcome. 

  • Strong in primary care.
    Primary care is the entry point for most patients and it's where practitioners are focused on the whole patient, not just one condition. 

  • Diversified.
    Covering enough specialties to provide a broad spectrum of patient care is important for patient retention and satisfaction.

  • Wired.
    A medical group must have up-to-date technology to collect and analyze patient data. Higher quality outcomes and lower costs come hand in hand when better data and information are available. 

 

Insurers, of course, aren’t acting altruistically. They know that by focusing on these dimensions, their ability to control costs and increase profits are far greater. In other words -- putting people, especially providers, at the center, is smart business. 

We've found the same in all of our work in telemedicine. Despite the common desire to invest in expensive hardware, it's actually great training, good support, and smart workflow that support the strongest telemedicine programs. In other words -- making things people-centered makes things work better. 

Learn more about how hybrid store-and-forward telemedicine puts healthcare providers first, and tech second: 

ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward

Tags: hybrid store and forward medical collaboration, telemedicine and hippa

What Is Your Most Precious Resource for Telemedicine?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 @ 06:00 AM

kazuend-32605-unsplashHealthcare today is under such pressure that every resource we have seems in short supply. 

Time, supplies, patience, money, access to tools, and even patients all seem scarce at times, and many of us are under intense pressure to manage them. 

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, however, used data to shed light on the question of what our most precious resource truly is... and how we might manage that resource more skillfully.In the April 19th, 2018 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, researcher Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc looks at a set of data for residents' duty schedules. 

The primary purpose of the study, the iCOMPARE study of residents, was to compare two duty-hour schedules -- a more traditional set structure and a more flexible structure. 

The results seemed to indicate that overall, the more flexible structure was much more successful. But that depended a lot on the speciality of the resident (internal medicine vs. surgery, for instance). 

More interestingly, the author drew some fascinating insights from the study about how we value healthcare professionals: "Many healthcare institutions appear to have lost sight of the truism that our health professionals are our most precious resource.”  He also says that many healthcare professionals have lost the spirit of "volunteerism and soul" that has so animated our profession for so long. 

Specifically, he looked at how the shift structure affected burnout quite dramatically. In fact, just the change in shift structure resulted in more than 2/3 of residents reporting high or moderate levels of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and low perceptions of personal accomplishment. McMahon explains, "Burnout among health care professionals is generally attributed to work-related factors, such as overload, loss of meaning, and lack of autonomy, and ultimately affects many dimensions of care quality, including rate of error, patient mortality, teamwork, malpractice suits, patient satisfaction, productivity, and costs.”

But McMahon is careful to not imply that shift structure in itself is what needs changing. He emphasizes that regulatory expectations may need to differ across specialities and that training organizations should, above all, examine how they are:

  • Funding and supporting educators and mentors
  • Supporting and managing individual growth
  • Providing sufficient time for electives and remediation
  • Creating work environments that promote deliberate practice, reflection, and feedback without excessive clerical or clinical burden.

McMahon's most emphatic insight, however, is that healthcare organizations must prioritize people. He argues that the concerns and experience of healthcare professionals isn't a "side effect" or an ancillary concern -- these things are central and primary to the mission of those organizations.

This certainly resonated with our experience, as well. So many organizations spend huge amounts of time and money on complex hardware installations for projects like telemedicine, without really considering the usability and sustainability of the system -- they don't stop to consider people. It's assumed that provider schedules will accommodate videoconferencing, that people should be able to learn difficult interfaces, and that providers need to adapt to the project (not the other way around.)

Whether it is for telemedicine or training, our most precious resource is people. Not hardware. Not time. Not money. People. Because if the people are inspired, and trained, and allowed to work as a team, they will thrive and patient results will flourish. That's why when it comes to telemedicine, we believe organizations should spend less time and money on hardware and more time and money exploring the best workflows, interfaces, and simple tools to support people in working together in the ways that they want to.

So, choose systems and tools that acknowledge that people are important -- and that put people first in how those tools work and what they do. 

For a people-centric model of telemedicine, check out hybrid store-and-forward telemedicine: 

ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward

 

Tags: hybrid store and forward medical collaboration, medical education

Interruption is Not Collaboration (But Healthcare Thinks It Is)

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 @ 06:01 AM

freestocks-org-229658.jpgI love listening to a podcast called Rework. They talk about work and business in interesting ways -- and although they're certainly not in the medical field, many of the insights apply. 

Last week's episode really stuck with me as important and made me realize just how far behind the healthcare field is. The episode, Interruption is Not Collaboration, looked at the cost of interruptions in the workplace.

If you're like most healthcare providers, the thought of even talking about "interruptions" seems ridiculous. In a medical setting, the day is one long interruption. There's so many things scheduled and happening simultaneously, that we become used to the situation, not noticing the cost. 

In fact, as is cited in Rework's episode, when we are interrupted, it takes about 23 minutes to recover from that interruption, in terms of productivity and the quality of your focus. In other industries, business leaders have started putting in place systems and tools that limit interruptions. Not for emotional reasons, but because the interruptions are "expensive" in their impact on work, in productivity, quality of insight, and errors made. But in the world of healthcare, we accept interruptions as normal and do little to try to minimize them.

I believe that many of my colleagues have little interest in medical collaboration because when they hear "collaboration" they think of interruptions in the form of: 

  • Text messages
  • Phone calls (or calls they have to return) 
  • Videoconferencing appointments
  • More meetings to attend. 

Of course this is what providers envision when they think of collaboration -- because these are the common forms that collaboration ends up taking. But these forms of collaboration come at such a high cost in terms of the provider having to interrupt or step away from the rest of their work -- that the collaboration becomes very much not worth the trouble. The other challenge with collaboration taking this form is that because the medium is so ephemeral, the conversation is not archived or accessible over time. Once the question is answered (like so much in our virtual world), it ceases to exist.

This is why we believe so firmly that healthcare collaboration needs to take the shape of Hybrid Store-and-Forward® telemedicine. It's absolutely crucial that care coordination and healthcare collaboration be sustainable, and supportive of the rest of the provider's workflow. Providers need to be able to ask and answer questions on their schedule, in their own time. With this form of collaboration, questions and answers don't interrupt the rest of your work, you can answer in a way that works with the rest of your schedule, and the case is archived for future review. That means that all of your patients get the most focus you can provide, and that you get the satisfaction of finishing one thing before starting another.

Your work matters too much to allow interruption to be the way things happen. Demand more for yourself -- and demand more for your patients.

 

To learn more about Hybrid Store-and-Forward telemedicine, download our free quick guide: 

ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward

Tags: hybrid store and forward medical collaboration, healthcare collaboration, store and forward medical collaboration

Why The Future of Telehealth Is Access for Everyone

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Wed, Nov 01, 2017 @ 08:19 AM

hal-gatewood-336679.jpgAccess to good healthcare has always been one of the three pillars of ClickCare. We're driven by access, collaboration, and education. Ultimately, we believe that these are the three pillars of good medicine as well. 

It's been fascinating, though, to watch how good medicine starts to converge with what makes sense financially -- especially in the current climate of healthcare.

The more that medicine becomes linked to value and performance, the more crucial questions of access become for the sustainability and viability of hospital systems. If patients aren't able to access the care they need (including followup care, etc.), outcomes will not be what they should, which means higher costs in the long run. So it's more important than ever that we have a strong and sophisticated understanding of the dynamics around access.

We've found, though, that the general understanding of access to healthcare is lacking nuance and lacking evidence. For instance, when people think about telemedicine and telehealth, these technologies and practices are often thought of as bringing "medicine from the city to distant rural areas", thus improving access. That's why the common direct-to-patient model (a patient on a video call with a provider in another state) is frequently imagined as the primary vehicle for care. 

However, we've found that the obstacle to treatment -- the obstacle to access -- often isn't just a single consult with a provider: it's effective, timely, coordinated care by a team of providers. So we were interested to see that researchers at Princeton and Thomas Jefferson University argue that access in urban areas can be just as bad as access in rural areas. Ultimately, the issue isn't proximity to doctors -- it's whether or not you can access medicine and surgery in an effective and timely fashion. 

Access to quality healthcare derives from factors like these:

  • The complexity of your disease.
    More complex situations multiply the providers who are trying to coordinate your care, and the longitudinal nature of the collaboration that has to take place.
  • The complexity of your life situation.
    If you are homeless and have 7 children and just moved from a different country, then your access to care will be different than if you are a single man, with a job and a house, who has lived in the same town his whole life. If you are an Olympic athlete with cancer, the demands and constraints on your care are more than if you are a part-time computer programmer.
  • Your economic and social status.
    Certainly, economic and social advantages tend to confer better medical care. Although an interesting note here is that it's not that the "the more money you have, the better your care." Sometimes economic and social status isn't as helpful as it might appear.
  • Social support.
    Patients with supportive families and advocates will have more access to better care than those who struggle to get the support they need.
  • Your geography. 
    As the article points out, there are "deserts" of care, both urban and rural. 

One of the reasons that we are so passionate about iClickCare is because we've seen patients get access to crucial medical care, in ways that would never have been possible otherwise.

We believe that the question of access is often a question of care coordination and medical collaboration. When providers are able to work together, with each other and with the patient, access to good care results. 

It's not an impossible goal -- and we all have the ability to impact it. We just have to use the tools we have.

 

Try iClickCare Today!

Tags: medical collaboration, hybrid store and forward medical collaboration, care coordination

Shocking ER Usage in Era of Value-Based Care and Telehealth

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Wed, Oct 25, 2017 @ 06:00 AM

daan-stevens-282446.jpgWe've written before about the Super Utilizer or Super User problem at our hospitals' Emergency Rooms. And we've written about how the most successful approaches to solving these issues are integrated and holistic.

But we were still shocked to see a statistic about Emergency Room usage across the hospitals in the country -- and this reality has serious implications for providers and hospital systems.

Fierce Healthcare reports that Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine analyzed data from 1996 until 2010 and determined that 47.7% of the medical care delivered in the US is in the Emergency Room. 

Further, over that 14-year period, ER usage increased by 44%. It seems that because vulnerable populations use the ER more, the increase in usage can be attributed to those populations: African-Americans, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, etc.

It's an interesting data point because it's dramatic, yes, but also because the increase in ER usage during that 14-year period is the exact opposite of the intended trends in the medical field. As a healthcare system, we're working towards value-based care. We're working towards decreasing readmissions, length of stay, and costs, and improving outcomes. We're not trying to encourage expensive, ineffective, un-integrated approaches.

Usually, human beings act in deeply rational ways that we would understood if we really knew all of the facts about their situation. This extreme usage of the country's ERs has to be understood as an indication on needs on the part of their patients. (Whether for immediate care, 24-hour care, care that comes with fewer questions about insurance coverage, or something else.) That said, this kind of ER-based care isn't good for patients and isn't good for hospital systems. It's costly, allows patients with complex situations to fall between the cracks, and often doesn't identify the root cause of the visit.

Realistically, we're not going to reverse the tide of ER visits. But what we can do is work in thoughtful, collaborative ways as providers so that when someone does come into the ER, we're still providing integrated, team-based care. iClickCare is one tool to facilitate that, but, simple conversations with patients and colleagues is another tool.

 

Try iClickCare Today!

Tags: medical collaboration, hybrid store and forward medical collaboration

JAMA: Sharing (and Medical Collaboration) is the Future of Medicine

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Tue, Oct 17, 2017 @ 06:01 AM

jelleke-vanooteghem-386022.jpgMedicine is certainly in transition these days. 

I'm reminded of the old saying that you need a canoe to get across the river. But once you're on land on other side, you shouldn't drag the canoe behind you; you need to put it down and find another way to move forward. 

Similarly, so many of the approaches in medicine that have brought us to where we are today aren't approaches that will bring us where we are trying to go.

In fact, medicine is changing so rapidly, and to such an extreme degree, that even medicine's hallowed institutions are beginning to advocate for change. 

JAMA is doing a series of articles called "Sharing Medicine". The framing of the series and the takeaways from the first components of it are stark in their unapologetic advocacy for new ways of doing things. "Sharing medicine" is what the series advocates for, and even in the definition of it, JAMA is showing a new way forward: "Sharing medicine describes a broader ecology of the sharing of knowledge, data, skills, and experiences within the medical profession, with patients, and with the public and society."

We're inspired and energized to read about these authors' research viewpoints. So we wanted to share a few of them with you. 

Initial takeaways from JAMA's series on Shared Medicine and medical collaboration:

  • Doctors' way of seeing themselves gets in the way of sharing. 
    This article says that physicians see themselves as repositories of knowledge and specialized skills. They are the ones that are supposed to know the answer and execute the treatment. That means that medical collaboration tends to butt up against that self-perception. The article says unequivocally that physicians need to find a new way to share and collaborate, or medicine will not reach its potential.

  • Medical collaboration is about true shared understanding -- not simply sending data.
    The reason that iClickCare exists is that medical collaboration needs rich information (text, back-and-forth discussion, context, archiving, photos, and video.) Similarly, one of the JAMA pieces says that medical providers need to "enter into dialogue with patients and try to align our understanding with theirs." In other words -- what's needed is not a transaction. It's not a text message. It's not a hurried note in an EMR. It's a process of aligning understanding that will truly change results in medicine.
  • The way we are sharing in medicine is not sustainable. 
    As the JAMA pieces say, "Compared with other sciences, the whole structure for knowledge generation and dissemination seems archaic, redundant, and inefficient." As medical providers, we demand the most cutting edge medicine and technology for our patients. It's no longer sustainable or acceptable to continue using archaic tools to collaborate.

  • Poor communication damages our patients.
    As JAMA reports, "Poor communication by health care professionals contributes to physical and psychological suffering in patients living with serious illness. Patients may not fully understand their illness, prognosis, and treatment options or may not receive medical care consistent with their goals. Despite considerable research exploring the role of communication in this setting, many questions remain, and a clear agenda for communication research is lacking."

 
We applaud JAMA for their thoughtful research and series. We agree wholeheartedly with their learning. And we look forward to creating the future of medicine with colleagues like these. 
 
ClickCare Quick Guide to Medical Collaboration

 

 

Tags: medical collaboration, hybrid store and forward medical collaboration

Telehealth Brings Providers Closer Together — So How Will You Use It?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Oct 05, 2017 @ 06:47 AM

nasa-53884.jpgLast week Elon Musk announced a new plan for getting people to Mars — and a clearer idea of how SpaceX would make money at it.

As the New York Times reports, “The key is a new rocket — smaller than the one he described at a conference in Mexico last year but still bigger than anything ever launched — and a new spaceship.”

But it was a specific aspect of his vision that reminded me of the potential, promise, and reality of telehealth…

Mr. Musk’s Mars vision is interesting and almost unbelievable. (And, indeed, may not be practical, but time will tell.) “For Mars colonists, the rocket would lift a spaceship with 40 cabins, and with two to three people per cabin, it would carry about 100 people per flight. After launching, the B.F.R. booster would return to the launching pad; the spaceship would continue to orbit, where it would refill its tanks of methane and oxygen propellant before embarking on the monthslong journey to Mars.”

What is even more fascinating to me, however, is Mr. Musk’s vision for using the reusable rocket here on earth.

Because the rockets are reusable and because they travel up to 18,000 miles per hour, the rockets could take off to the atmosphere, and then come down in, say, Shanghai. Any two points on earth would be less than an hour apart. And, in fact, he says that the cost of a ticket would be cheaper than an economy ticket on a plane today. (He didn’t mention the leg room, but I’ll assume it’s better!)

When you watch the BFR “Earth to Earth” video, imagining the idea that you could get to Shanghai in 39 minutes, or from New York to Paris in 30, you start to wonder how our world would change if we could connect to each other so easily, so quickly. You think about how our understanding and empathy of other cultures might grow. You think about how new ways of practicing business, medicine, and art might emerge. How we might work and live differently, better. And you wonder -- if I could go to any country in the world before lunchtime, what would I do with that ability to connect? If I had the power to connect across the world, how would I use it?

The truth, of course, is that you have that power now.

Mr. Musk’s vision is big, and it’s encouraging to know that entrepreneurs with big visions are working towards new futures. But the truth is that in the palm of our hands, we have tiny computers that let us collaborate with medical colleagues in any corner of the world, even in a HIPAA-safe way, for a cost that is tiny. The reality is that telehealth now allows us to connect with patients and people across the spectrum of care in ways we couldn’t, even 20 years ago.

What will you do with that power?

 

Try the iClickCare 14-day evaluation

 

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Tags: telehealth, hybrid store and forward medical collaboration, Telemedicine and HIPAA, telehealth and hipaa

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