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April 6, 2017 by Yash Mehta

A Paradigm Beyond Telemedicine? Spanning care across the continuum for a population

Telemedicine remains one of the much-anticipated modalities of care to improve doctor-patient interaction offering ease, convenience, and comfort of care right from the patient’s home. Adoption remains inconsistent across the nation, yet, even in states with no parity laws, healthcare organizations continue to offer telemedicine as a self-pay service. For healthcare organizations, clinicians, and patients, telemedicine offers different benefits.

Healthcare organizations benefit utilizing new means of care to reduce readmission and provide quicker access to patients. This also enables organizations to establish a new service offerings to remain competitive and improve ROI.

For clinicians and patients, benefits range from being able to offer more convenient services and improve efficiency by being able to evaluate & treat minor ailments remotely. Patients benefit from being able to access care from the comfort of their homes while also reducing the time to receiving care.

In spite of the many benefits of telemedicine, it remains a single point of care in the care continuum. Therein lies the problems, telemedicine is a means to an end, a means that provides touch points in the care continuum – stroke of paint on the canvas. The acceleration of technology within the telehealth should enable a means to interact at multiple touch points that offers qualitative and quantitative insights into the patients health at different points – virtual care. Thus, enabling remote care & monitoring, tele-visit, and post-visit remote care & monitoring in a single stream. The fragmented approach to telehealth means that disparate set of technologies will be independently used to provide complete care of patients.

When considering telemedicine in grander context such as population health, the outcomes of tele-visits are touch or care points, just like a face-to-face encounters. Strategically, the conundrum is to stitch the care points and the patient state between the care points into a single stream. From care continuum and population health perspective, there must be a means to paint a complete picture of the patient, temporally.

Collectively segmenting patient based on demographics yields both a micro and macro view hence yielding population health management. Sounds much more simple than it is of course.


Care continuum Paradigm

However, the means to achieve effective population health management and patient wellness over the care continuum is not a far-fetched reality. Stitching together patient care over the continuum and developing a comprehensive population health model are two sides of the same coin. Rather than a fragmented approach, a participatory model bringing together healthcare organizations & administrators, clinicians, tech innovators, and patients can solve this problem. Focus for a paradigm beyond telemedicine is inclusive of televisits, but with televisit integrated with automated remote patient care.

Again, the pieces are already there, it’s a matter of stitching them together.

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About DocToDoor

DocToDoor is a custom branded Telehealth solution designed to empower physicians to manage care through the entire care continuum for post-visit, chronic care, and post-op recovery. We are empowering physicians with population health-centric remote patient monitoring & patient engagement and telemedicine platform to manage and care for patients through the entire breadth of patient-provider relationship.