The current medical scene develops and grows at an unprecedented pace, allowing it to re-adjust and better meet the demands of the public. By continuously changing for the better and implementing newer technology in healthcare, Medical companies are able to maintain and improve their standards of care. The adoption of modern technology and the internet in particular has had a tremendous influence on the way medical care is perceived, approached, and expanded. With the use of the online sphere, healthcare professionals are able to effectively expand their range of possible activities and assist a wider demographic of people.
The use of electronic healthcare-related services, in particular, has demonstrably become more widespread and effective in recent years. To implement a strategy of interacting with patients online, however, considerable planning and effort need to be put into adopting necessary tools and frameworks. Approaches that allow the healthcare provider to effectively communicate with their client base and provide them with an invaluable service can be difficult to formulate. During the course of this paper, a framework for establishing a virtual visit system to counter the identified issues will be made. The work will outline the main purposes of the online approach, as well as the ways of monitoring its implementation.
Identified Problems and Issues in Healthcare
The most apparent current problem healthcare providers face is connected with the effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of the outbreak, medical organizations and related services have been facing a myriad of issues. Higher patient density, the overwork each member of the staff has to face, longer hours, and the possibility of infection among the medical staff, are all significant problems.
However, the Coronavirus pandemic also affected the desire of people to visit medical facilities. Many see hospitals and clinics as dangerous places where it would be easier to catch the disease, and some are simply unable to leave their houses to receive medical attention. These people, however, are as much of a client base as any other, and medical organizations need to find ways of communicating with people from the comfort of their own homes. Furthermore, the financial problems created by the virus also force medical professionals to more scarcely allocate their resources, impacting the quality of care provided.
For addressing this range of issues, applications for virtual visits to the clinic have been proposed as an adequate solution, combining the availability of online interaction and the professionality of medical consultation into one. They can both assist people in arranging hospital visits online to evade the dangers of the pandemic and provide a service of higher availability to people with limited mobility. The approach can therefore be used to address both long-term and short-term issues of the field. By effectively implementing an online visit system, a medical institution bring benefit to both its financial stability and the wider community of people.
Implementation of E-health Virtual Visit System
The use and the implementation of online and internet-based technologies can greatly assist medical companies with adequately meeting the challenges of the modern age. The use of eHealth applications can increase data availability, making the process of reviewing, retrieving, and transferring information among the interested parties feel seamless. The technology can be useful among the staff and the patient-doctor interaction alike, increasing the efficiency of the healthcare process as a whole. The ability to use the internet and computer technology saves a large amount of time and cuts costs considerably. The frameworks used for virtual visits and electronic healthcare can be further integrated into other IT-related medical strategies, making them well-suited for addressing the specific needs of each medical facility.
eHealth, in general, can be used in a variety of ways and transformed to better meet the needs of a particular facility.
A virtual visit application should be developed on the basis of a website, as that is one of the more accessible and flexible systems for arranging the Virtual Visit program. The service should include necessary tools for patients to establish a direct connection with the doctors, receive the guidance they require to properly operate the site, and the ability to work together with the health provider to improve the overall level of care they receive. Promoting patient choice, independence, and wellbeing, the program should include consultation functionality, access to patient records, online screenings, symptom tracking, and educational materials for the patients.
The system should be able to function with the online and offline operation taken into account, with patients receiving the needed support and medical assistance without the need to leave their homes. A number of qualified staff with sufficient knowledge of electronics should be put in charge of sorting out the needs of the patients and resolving their issues through both messaging and direct communication. In terms of communication, different ways of speaking should be established, including texting, video and phone calls, as well as pre-recorded videos. Active participation from the patients should be encouraged, as they are the ones taking the lead in the process of recovery. A system to further collect patient impressions and feedback is also needed, as that would allow the medical professionals to better understand the state of the virtual visit system in relation to its projected costs.
In terms of advantages, the use of telehealth can be greatly beneficial, as it expands the potential client base, including many individuals that are unable or unwilling to personally visit a hospital, as well as those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The service can also allow people to get access to specialists they would not otherwise have been able to meet, further increasing the potential reach of the initiative (Pros-Cons of Telehealth, 2020). The use of internet visits is also far more cost-efficient for the medical facility and the patients themselves, as less time and resources are spent overall to treat n individuals (Pros-Cons of Telehealth, 2020).
It is estimated that around 43% of all the inpatient visits can be done through the virtual sphere. Both the time spent in waiting rooms and the costs of medical treatment is reduced, making the service well-suited for many different kinds of people (Pros-Cons of Telehealth, 2020). Virtual care also creates broader opportunities for patient-doctor communication, allowing medical professionals to check up on the condition of their patients throughout the process of recovery, and offer needed advice in some cases.
There are, however, also a variety of downsides to using a virtual visit system, and they need to be taken into account when implementing such an approach. The question of privacy may be a difficult one, as securing patient information and ensuring that it is properly stored presents some difficulty (Pros-Cons of Telehealth, 2020). Medical data is especially sensitive, and relevant legislation concerning its securing differs depending on the state. Additionally, the obvious problem telemedicine and virtual visits have is the limited physical interaction the patient and the doctor can have (Pros-Cons of Telehealth, 2020). The need to converse over a distance can make physical examinations far less effective, and video technology to compensate for that is not always available.
It can be predicted that the problematic areas in implementing the system of virtual care would be presented in the fields of security and examination quality of online video call examinations. These problems can be identified through the collection of relevant data from a period of a few months after the implementation of the program, allowing the management to track the progress made and make necessary changes. Furthermore, questionnaires to gather public opinion could be used to measure customer satisfaction with the service.
An intervention would include improving the quality of video call services and using the necessary technology to secure the data stored on the online service. Using more advanced encryption methods or password protections can aid in protecting patient data from outside influence.
Checking and re-evaluation can be made the same way the previous evaluation was made, though recording and comparing the relevant data over a period of a few months.
The lessons learned during the overview can be utilized to improve data security and the quality of medical examinations, as doctors will be informed by the new experience and accumulated work practice to perform better.
Deloitte, Transforming care delivery through virtual health. Web.
Atasoy, H., Greenwood, B.N. & McCullough, J.S., 2019. The digitization of PATIENT care: A review of the effects of electronic health records on health care quality and utilization. Annual Review of Public Health, 40(1), pp.487–500.
Pros-Cons of Telehealth, 2020. Telemedicine Advantages-Disadvantages. eVisit. Web.