ClickCare Café

Bring-Your-Own-Device Policy in Healthcare Is Key to Providers Using Health IT

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Tue, Sep 26, 2017 @ 06:00 AM

mia-baker-330625.jpgHealthcare providers -- especially doctors -- are not known as the most receptive, malleable folks. In fact, in the world of private pilots, it's commonly accepted that doctors are the most dangerous pilots because they have too much confidence in their own abilities. 

So it's no surprise that providers almost universally hate that they've been forced to use EMRs/EHRs. The widespread frustration with the technology would be practically a galvanizing force in the medical world, were it not for the complete impotence we have to actually reject EMRs.

That said, I've always struggled to understand why so many healthcare providers resist the implementation of tools like telemedicine or other telehealth advances. Many of these tools are beautifully designed, save huge amounts of time, and greatly advance care. And yet many providers resist them with a vehemence I find hard to fathom.

But some recent research brought these reasons clearly into focus for me...

Two recent studies look at the adoption of EMRs/EHRs and dig into the true reasons that healthcare providers resist the usage of technology in many contexts.

This study looks at why healthcare providers are so resistant to EMRs/EHRs. The researchers look at the institutional beliefs in the institution of medicine -- the profession, they say, is "based upon main values such as professional autonomy, status role and expertise." These are values that butt directly against the coercive implementation of difficult-to-use EMRs/EHRs in so many settings.

This piece, in turn, surveyed 199 physicians practicing at a large US hospital. They found that -- consistent with our life experience -- healthcare providers largely deeply dislike EMRs/EHRs and see them as infringing on their time with patients and inhibiting of their ability to practice as they wish. No surprises there. However, the researchers go on to summarize, "when faced with a decision between alternate IT systems [for instance, choosing between an EMR and paper records], individual users tend to select and make use of the technology or system that is most readily accessible."

In other words, the physicians were simply trying to navigate their overloaded days by choosing the system that felt most accessible or "easy" to them. The researchers found two dimensions to this perceived accessibility: logical and physical. The physical accessibility had to do with the placement of the computer in the office or exam room, how many computers the practice had, etc. The local accessibility had to do with how difficult it was to log into and use the EMR system. The study concludes, "Both dimensions of accessibility act as barriers to EMR use intentions through their indirect effect on physicians' perceptions of EMR usefulness and ease of use."

I found this particularly fascinating because these two dimensions are the two foundations that we built iClickCare on: 

  • Physical accessibility: iClickCare works in a HIPAA compliant way on any iPhone, Android, or web browser. Which means that you can use it on the computer in your office, on your phone in the exam room, on your home computer, or on a floor down from your office in the hospital. This is huge for physician's perceptions of accessibility. (Not to mention making it practical to use in home-based or long term care settings.) 
  • Logical accessibility: iClickCare is technology for people who hate technology. Getting a consult on iClickCare is as simple as posting a Facebook update. And the workflow integrates with any other technology or Health IT systems you may be using. 

So if you're exploring implementation of a Health IT system -- whether telemedicine for medical collaboration or something else -- we recommend considering these same dimensions:

  • Physical accessiblity: will the system work on multiple hardware pieces (e.g., the "hardware" in everyone's pocket)? Does it require a hardware investment? 
  • Logical accessibility: does the system work with providers' existing workflow? Does it make sense with providers' days? How well-designed is the user interface and how hard is it to use? Do providers need to change their schedules to use the system? Will they need to use hardware they are unfamiliar with?

A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, especially in combination with smart software, can open up the possibilities for technology implementation that providers will really use and really benefit from. We always recommend investing in software, not hardware and using that software on as many devices as providers use already. 

The determinants of technology adoption aren't complicated, but working in harmony with them can be transformative.

 

Download our full white paper on Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies here:

iClickCare IS BYOD Secure

Photo by Mia Baker on Unsplash

Tags: telehealth, HIPAA, byod, bring your own device

What Your Netflix Recommendations and Telehealth Have in Common

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Wed, Sep 06, 2017 @ 06:01 AM

samuel-zeller-360588.jpgAs you probably know, machine learning refers to the process through which a system can use a programmed process to "learn" and become more accurate over time. It's different from the way most of us think of a robot or a computer program because in this case, the programming changes based on the results it gets and new inputs available.

Experts say that the extensive use of machine learning in healthcare is inevitable. But how might that affect healthcare and what will the consequences of it be?

Machine learning is not a new field -- in fact, it was described by Arthur Samuel in 1959 as, “the field of study that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.” But exponential improvements in computing, plus innovations in AI and technology in general, have meant that the field has started burgeoning over the last few years.

Machine learning is used in applications from cyber security to healthcare to, well, the movies that Netflix suggests you watch after a long week. In medicine, we're seeing applications in everything from cancer prediction and prognosis, to diagnosis in medical imaging, to treatment suggestions.

For instance, when you search for, say, peach pie recipe on Google, you'll see search results based on what Google thinks matches those words. That's a regular computer algorithm. Machine learning comes into play, however, in that Google also "watches" (actually a computer collecting data) which search results you click on, and how much time you spend on the pages you visit, to re-rank and re-sort the search results it gives the next person searching for peach pie recipe.

There is a lot that is scary and even threatening about this new world of technology. It's disturbing to think that the best doctors are sometimes worse diagnosticians than computers. And it's true that, as this JAMA paper identifies, "comparative studies on the effectiveness of machine learning–based decision support systems (ML-DSS) in medicine are lacking, especially regarding the effects on health outcomes."

The JAMA paper looks at several potential unintended consequences of the use of machine learning in medicine, for instance:

  • Reducing the skills of physicians
    For instance, a study of 30 internal medicine residents showed that the residents exhibited a decrease in diagnostic accuracy (from 57% to 48%) when electrocardiograms were annotated with inaccurate computer-aided diagnoses."
  • Overreliance on text.
    The JAMA paper reports that machine learning "could lead to reduced interest in and decreased ability to perform holistic evaluations of patients, with loss of valuable and irreducible aspects of the human experience such as psychological, relational, social, and organizational issues."

Ultimately, machine learning is like any other technology in medicine -- the scalpel, anesthesia, or telehealth. These tools are powerful, and come with almost inalterable impacts on how we practice medicine. They're also in our control, we're supposed to wield responsibly and manage the negative consequences. 

In the field of telemedicine, we at ClickCare are determined advocates for healthcare providers to be thoughtful about what technology they use for telehealth, and how they use it.

We advocate for healthcare providers to do 2 key things when it comes to technology in telehealth and telemedicine:

  • Be open to new technology even as you're discerning about what to use.
    Of course, technology comes with unintended consequences and challenges. But it can also enrich and enhance the practice of medicine. We advocate for providers to be proactive in selecting technology that really works for them -- neither a "bury your head in the sand" approach, nor a "take whatever comes along" approach. You know what's best for you and your patients.

  • Be open to redefining some aspects of your role as a medical provider.
    As technology shifts, we have the opportunity and responsibility of shifting our roles as providers, too. Machine learning may create the ability for providers to focus less on the mechanics of medicine and more on the human art of it. Telemedicine based medical collaboration allows providers to step out of their silos and treat patients as a true team. We believe that the most successful, happiest providers are those that are willing to find new ways of working as our tools change.

 

We believe the same principles apply to our adoption and use of machine learning in medicine. And we look forward to being on that journey with you. 

 

Want to get all the information before making a telehealth or telemedicine decision? Get our free summary of hybrid store-and-forward telemedicine so you can be informed:

ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward

 

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Tags: telehealth, telemedicine technology, ACO

You Don't Need to Follow Those Annoying Password Rules -- And Telehealth Will Benefit

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 @ 06:00 AM

jeff-sheldon-264922-1.jpgWhether we're trying to buy a bath mat online or setting up a new bank account, we're all familiar with the prompts telling us the password we've selected isn't "complex" enough to be safe. For instance, you type in a long sentence, but you're told that it needs a number, an upper case letter, or a "special character." 

Well, those guidelines didn't come from nowhere -- they came from a man named Bill Burr, a former manager at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). And it turns out that Mr. Burr is very regretful for having wasted so much time with guidelines that don't really work. In 2003, Burr wrote a guide on secure passwords: the “NIST Special Publication 800-63. Appendix A.” That guide is where many of our standards around passwords came from. 

BUT, it turns out a longer password, with English words (much easier for most of us to remember) is actually harder for a computer to guess than a shorter password with arbitrary characters. And so all the complex password hijinks haven't really been keeping us safer.

We appreciated this article for the simple fact that getting a glimpse into the human side of the internet is always interesting. And Mr. Burr's honesty and humility are refreshing. 

But we also think there are two important takeaways from Mr. Burr's revelation:

  • What seems "high tech" is not always better or safer.
    For instance, we find that in medicine, there is a constant perception that more expensive hardware and technology are safer or more powerful. We've even had hospitals tell us that iClickCare is too inexpensive for them to buy. The truth is that iClickCare is as sophisticated, as HIPAA compliant, and as innovative as software can be. It just appears simple because it can be used from any computer, is relatively inexpensive to implement, and is very easy to use. Those are all great things, but not if you're looking for the most complicated-seeming solution on the market.

  • Just because something is repeated often, doesn't mean it's true. 
    With all of the complexity in medicine right now, it's common for an "echo chamber" effect to be created, in which things are repeated and seem true simply because we've heard them so often. Sometimes the EHR/EMR that is used a lot isn't the best one; and sometimes commonly understood causes of a situation aren't the correct causes. In the case with the passwords, it's clear that an incorrect approach became industry standard, just because it was used so often.

We encourage you to find the best solution for your situation. Just as it turns out that the "plain English" passwords actually work better, the simpler solution in telemedicine can work better as well. 

 

Get our guide on the simplest kind of telemedicine out there:

ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward

Photo by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash

Tags: telehealth, telemedicine and hippa

New FDA Regulation Law Brings Changes for Telehealth

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Aug 24, 2017 @ 06:01 AM

glen-alejandro-347236.jpgOn Friday, President Trump signed a bill reauthorizing the Food and Drug Administration’s user fee agreements for drugs and devices. 

The bill authorizes user fee agreements before they were set to expire in October. Interestingly, the bill also establishes several new approaches to the regulation of digital health and creates a digital health unit within the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH).

Advocates of digital health, telehealth, and telemedicine might worry about whether this change is positive or negative for medicine and for progress in digital health. Here’s our take…

The Food and Drug Administration was created to regulate, make safe, and (perhaps), facilitate the development of food and drug products in the United States.

Of course, in 2017, digital technology is every bit as important as biochemistry in contributing to our health and wellness. So the Food and Drug Administration is working to keep up with the new forms that “food and drugs” take — and how data and technology can contribute to or potentially endanger the nation’s health.

As digital science becomes increasingly important, it will need to be regulated. But, at this point “watchful waiting” is more important than regulation to allow the development of creative technologies. These changes probably mean little to you using iClickCare but we wanted to keep you abreast of the changing regulations in the field.  On the other hand, here will more control of the hardware and medical device side of telemedicine.

ClickCare is proud to be a leader during an exciting and innovative time. And ultimately, we are advocates for technology that is safe because it is in service to providers caring for their patients — like telemedicine for medical collaboration — not a circumvention of the way providers care for patients.

Tools, technology, and drugs are only as safe as the professionals using them. So we see our job as simple: use technology but get out of the way so that you and your colleagues can care for your patients.

Learn more about the most innovative form of medical collaboration (that is also the simplest) here:

ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Glen Alejandro on Unsplash

Tags: telehealth, hybrid store and forward medical collaboration, regulatory issues

A Step-by-Step for Specialists Using Telehealth for Care Coordination

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 @ 07:30 AM

Last consultsmall.jpgweek, we talked about how primary care providers can use telemedicine for care coordination -- and looked at a simple workflow for getting a consult or asking a question.

Today, we want to look at how "specialists" can organize their workflow to ensure ease and efficiency in answering questions.

Whether you are a primary care provider or a specialist, you will sometimes be requesting a consult, and sometimes be providing a consult. The advantage of a platform that supports true healthcare collaboration is that the "help" can go two ways, or multiple ways, in a single case.

The workflow is always up to you, but here are some guidelines for when you respond, consult, or answer.

A step-by-step workflow for providing a consult via telemedicine:

  • Make sure you understand the question.
    If you are not sure what the question is, then ask a question back. Ask for clarification. Mostly, being a specialist means knowing what to ask and letting the patient provide the answer. Do so with respect. What is obvious and easy for you in your field is probably not obvious and easy for someone in another field. Indeed, you yourself may soon be off your turf and need help.
  • Add your own data, be concise, be focused.
    While we have become used to the four page referral letter -- because we bill based on how many elements or how many domains we provide -- most data is not pertinent and too much information decreases precision.
  • Help the requestor be the judge and jury.
    The requestor knows the whole picture more than you. Ask the requestor to get other specialty help. For example: an open fracture with marginal skin loss, or a case of white-coat hypertension shockingly found by you the night before the patient's surgery. If you did not receive follow-up, ask for it. Otherwise, skeletons in the closet are there when they don’t need to be.
  • Consult with the team to get a consensus.
    Before you bring tablets down from your lofty mountain, make sure there aren't other opinions you should gather. As a specialist, I have to remind myself that my opinion is not final and there might be some other aspect to the problem that I might not see. By engaging in discussion, my opinion becomes more valuable. We need to move on from the four page referral letter and its unidirectional pronouncements.
    Sometimes, you just have to see the patient. 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask, but don’t ask just ask to avoid thinking. There is a human and financial cost to seeing you.

Medical collaboration doesn't only happen in hospitals. Read our Quick Guide for collaboration tips from across industries:

ClickCare Quick Guide to Medical Collaboration

Tags: telemedicine, medical collaboration, telehealth, care coordination

A Step-by-Step for Primary Care Providers Using Telehealth for Care Coordination

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Tue, Oct 18, 2016 @ 07:26 AM

mosquitos-1.jpgBeing a primary care provider in 2016 can feel like trying to mow the lawn on a hot summer day.

You're trying to do your work, but there are swarms of mosquitoes to deal with. Regulations buzz. Productivity is snapping at you. The smoke of information overload gets in your eyes. Malpractice suits bite. Bosses ask for more and complain about it. Telehealth and care coordination are supposed to make our lives easier, and help us provide better care -- but they start to seem like gnats too: EHR, EMR, electronic orders, cell phone policies, PACS, login, logout, PHI, BAA, ICD-10 CPT, and more.

It's tempting to bury your head in the sand and try to ignore the swarm. But we've found that investing even a small amount of attention on telehealth and care coordination is like putting on bug spray and firing up a dozen citronella candles -- that little bit of investment saves infinite amounts of bother and strain.

Your goals are to get your patient better, find the right care for that patient, and sometimes give comfort at the uncomfortable end of life. Using telemedicine for healthcare collaboration is a powerful tool to help you achieve those goals. But how do you get there? Well, we've worked with countless medical providers on the transition to using telemedicine for healthcare collaboration. The short answer is that you need to develop a workflow and find some products or systems to help you. 

A quick note on who this workflow is for...
You may be a caregiver. You may be a nurse's aide, doing all the hard, and at times, dirty work. You may be a physical, occupational, or speech therapist who creates the road to recovery. You may be a nurse in the office, home, factory or floor. You may be a primary care physician or advanced practice provider.

No matter who you are, there are times when you need to ask a question on a case, get a consult, or coordinate care. You can use a tool like iClickCare to collaborate on cases... but what does that collaboration look like? How do you ask the question? What are the steps to making it happen efficiently?

That's what this workflow aims to achieve for any healthcare provider -- but especially primary care providers -- when they are the requesting support, consultation, or collaboration.

A step-by-step workflow for requesting a consult via telemedicine:

  1. Get focused and take stock.
    Sort the data in your head and on the chart. The blood pressure is high. What was it before? Before that? What has been done? What has been skipped?
  2. Distill the data down to its essence.
    An egg salad sandwich a day ago has no impact on an finger injury, but might be highly pertinent when asking about diarrhea.
  3. Give a brief summary.
    Ask your question clearly, be specific about what you want to know.Know your consultants.
    Talk to them in their language, or use your language and translate for them. 'Deep tissue injury' is a nursing term and 'full thickness loss' is a plastic surgery term and 'Grade IV' is an orthopedic term -- translating these specialty-specific terms can ease communication. Images help as well!
  4. Indicate the timing of when you want an answer.
    Do you need to interrupt or can it wait? This is the reason we like Hybrid Store-and-Forward® -- you don't have to coordinate timing like you do with videoconferencing. Even very busy people get back to you quite quickly, but at a time that works for them.
  5. Bring other members of the patient's team on board as the process unfolds.
    Be aware that others could be helpful - the lawyers, the reviewers, the patient, the family. 
  6. Give the consultant followup.
    Do you agree? Did things work out? Be kind and relieve the originator's stress of wondering.

Whether it is telehealth, care coordination, telemedicine, mHealth, or medical records -- technology does not provide patient care no matter how advanced. You provide that. Fit the technology into your workflow -- not you into theirs. When you manage to do that, you will have the joy and satisfaction of providing great care, not swatting at a bunch of electronic gnats, midges, flies and mosquitos. You will have a peaceful summer afternoon -- everyday.

Medical collaboration doesn't only happen in hospitals. Read our Quick Guide for collaboration tips from across industries:

ClickCare Quick Guide to Medical Collaboration

Image: Scientists Against Malaria

Tags: telemedicine, medical collaboration, telehealth, care coordination, healthcare collaboration

4 Telemedicine Trends that Will Affect How You Practice

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 @ 07:30 AM

telemedicinetrends.jpegAs healthcare providers, we tend to keep our heads down and just do the work for the patient.

It's usually better to ignore most of the trends and politics happening around us.

But medicine is now changing so fast, that this kind of approach is become unsustainable. For instance, HIPAA rules affect you whether you're paying attention or not.  

A couple of recent articles over at Fierce Healthcare (here and here) highlight telemedicine trends that we believe WILL affect how you practice medicine, wherever you are in the continuum of care, and whether you're a "telemedicine person" or not.

 

4 telemedicine trends that will affect how you practice medicine:

  1. Convenience and lower costs mean pressure to adopt telemedicine. The evidence is pretty set, at this point, that telemedicine helps decrease costs. It does it through decreasing readmissions, through supporting care at high-cost places like Long Term Care, and improving workflow and care coordination. That means that opting out is only a viable solution for so long -- we recommend making good choices about how and when to use telemedicine, rather than not using it altogether.

  2. Telemedicine is increasingly useful for care coordination and management of chronic conditions. It used to be that telemedicine was most frequently used for acute conditions and rapid consultations. As many providers are finding, though, telemedicine is actually most powerful in complex contexts in which providers need to be involved at different times, different locations, in different ways.

  3. There is a movement away from hospitals to clinics and patients' homes. The evidence that bigger hospitals don't mean lower costs is just one piece of the puzzle. As cost pressures mount, as patient demand increases, and the population changes, care in clinics and at home becomes the new normal. Telemedicine, in turn, is almost the only feasible way to manage modern care in that context.

  4. Reimbursement for telemedicine is almost a done deal. For many years, reimbursement was the last bulwark against telemedicine. Now, with reimbursement set in 29 states, and huge progress being made for store-and-forward telemedicine reimbursement, regulations are more in support of telemedicine than against it.

  5. Telemedicine can be used for medical education. This article highlights how people are beginning to see a need for education about telemedicine-- and we think that the real shift is to start looking at education using telemedicine.

Very few people love change. But the more we embrace it, the more we can embrace it on our terms -- and that is good for us, and for our patients. 

 

Get a free primer on telemedicine to help inform your choices:

ClickCare Quick Guide to Telemedicine

Tags: telemedicine, medical collaboration, telehealth, healthcare collaboration

Huge Legislative Changes for Store-and-Forward Telemedicine

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Tue, Jun 07, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

store-and-forward-legislative-changes.jpeg

 

The American Telemedicine Association reports an amazing change in regulations: 49 of 50 states now have Medicaid programs that cover telemedicine for low income beneficiaries. (The single outlier? Hint: the smallest state in the nation.)

This report also notes that Missouri is a new member of an exclusive but growing group of states on the cusp of expanding coverage to store and forward Technologies. Store and Forward means non-videoconferencing, but instead communication with pictures and words in an email-timeframe. At this time, Missouri joins New York by specifically including -- and covering -- providers of all types and across the continuum of care.  

These legislative trends are at the convergence of several trends that are obliterating the barriers to telemedicine. Modern technology that assists in the everyday care of patients -- telemedicine and telehealth -- is no longer an experimental, conceptual idea. It is no longer about pilots, trials, and demonstration projects. In fact, telemedicine isn't even that cool or new anymore -- it is a mainstream, valuable, everyday tool.

With this change in telemedicine's place in society comes a change in providers, and a change in supporters. No longer is the only telemedicine model that of a central expert "helping" dispersed or lesser-resourced/educated/connected outposts. Now, and especially with store and forward telemedicine, these tools can help all providers support, challenge, educate, and collaborate with each other. And it's a good thing, too. Sometimes the most influential provider in the room is the one with the least number of degrees, but the closest contact with the patient. Sometimes, it is the patients themselves.

Missouri and New York, while pioneers, are enabling what we at ClickCare have been espousing and creating since our early grant days in the 1990s. They are enabling patients' access to care. They are ensuring that everyone, including the patient, should be involved in care at the right time and the right place. And most importantly, they are allowing collaboration to happen -- which means better care for each patient. 

So we call for more pioneers to join Missouri and New York in cultivating and enabling access, collaboration, and (don’t forget) education.

 

Still learning the basics of Hybrid Store-and-Forward® telemedicine? This guide can help:


ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward

Tags: telemedicine, telehealth, store and forward, hybrid store and forward medical collaboration, healthcare collaboration, store and forward medical collaboration, regulatory issues

One Hurdle to Healthcare Collaboration Is Crumbling

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 @ 07:30 AM

barrierstotelemedicinecrumbling.jpg

There have always been three key hurdles that telehealth and telemedicine faced -- and each is eroding quickly.

  1. 
Cost with complexity
  2. Economic support (reimbursement)
  3. Licensure

The first is cost of technology and ease of use. As we have often shared, expensive (and tricky to use) hardware has never been the best route to a great telemedicine system -- or to healthcare collaboration. 

The second factor is economic. A common question for providers considering telemedicine is, “Can I get paid for this.” As we have noted, the New York State Telehealth Law and others in the country have made a step toward addressing this concern. Medicare still is adhering to “face to face” only reimbursement for reasons that are not completely clear. Given the power of Hybrid Store and Forward telemedicine, we sometimes wonder if the reason is related to lobbying by the incumbent video conferencing interests.

The third barrier to telemedicine and healthcare collaboration is licensure. Each state licenses professionals for practice only in that state. There is little or no reciprocity. The National Counsel of State Boards of Nursing is working on solving this. It has received a letter of support from the National League of Nursing which represents academic nurse faculty.
ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward
Spearheading this change is the National Council of State Boards of Nursing which has been developing the Nurse Licensure Compact. The aim is to enable nurses to provide telehealth nursing services across state borders without needing a separate license for each.

Physicians and other professionals have moved in this direction, but more slowly.

In the short run, telehealth can still be practical and a strong basis for healthcare collaboration -- even before these licensure issues are fully solved -- as long as there is a professional “standing at the bedside or in the exam room” who will bear the responsibility for the care of the patient.

Is this not what healthcare collaboration is about anyway?

If you're interested in trying telemedicine in your organization, we offer a free 2-week trial, which you can access here.

Try the iClickCare 14-day evaluation

Tags: telemedicine, telehealth, healthcare collaboration

Two Telemedicine Models That Are Improving Performance Fast

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Tue, May 19, 2015 @ 07:30 AM

6108b580.jpeg

Telemedicine is starting to really make an impact as it is adopted in evermore creative and all-encompassing ways. Barriers to telemedicine adoption are starting to crumble, as reimbursements and regulations catch up.

Two recent programs caught our eye as being interesting in terms of improving performance in managed care settings.

One program is taking aim at diabetes in a broad swatch of the California Native American community. Riverside-San Bernardino County Indian Health serves nine tribes in the Inland Empire region of Southern California. The region encompasses nearly 30,000 square miles. With diabetes being such a prevalent problem in the Native American community, that is the first thing the Indian Health Services sought to address. Pulmonology, cardiology, gerontology and dermatology will be addressed in the project's subsequent phases.

The Indian Health program anticipates the following benefits:

  • Cultural awareness
  • Treating disease early
  • Improved efficiencies and savings
  • Better coordinated care
  • Avoidance of duplication of services and tests

Another pilot, at Banner Health in Phoenix, is an effort in their Intensive Ambulatory Care program. They aim to help patients with multiple chronic conditions with a key focus on performance and value. Fierce Health IT reports that "Through the program, nurses and primary care physicians treat patients from their homes and collect and analyze the health data to prevent adverse events."

Thus far, the chronic disease program has seen:

  • Cost savings
  • Fewer hospitalizations
  • Shorter hospital stays

Of course, these are just two examples of the myriad ways telemedicine is being used. And results are being seen in contexts as varied as the VA health system. What telemedicine results are you seeing in your organization or your community? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

 

Curious what telemedicine can actually look like in action? Take a look at iClickCare's 1-minute video:

 

Watch the iClickCare One Minute Video

 

 

Tags: telemedicine, telehealth

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