With the world in the throes of pandemic, it may seem difficult to imagine what the world will look like after we move through this period. But now is the time to think of the possibilities and use what we learn today to prepare for the future.
How the COVID-19 Pandemic will change healthcare delivery
Virtual healthcare technologies like telehealth will become the norm for taking care of patients
PB: Absolutely. This is the tipping point for telehealth. Never again will the default workflow for seeing most patients/consumers be instructions to come to the office, urgent care clinic or hospital emergency room.
The reasons for implementing telehealth in the current pandemic are urgent and obvious. And, supplying a push in the right direction is the recent CDC recommendation that healthcare facilities explore alternatives to face-to-face triage to reduce unnecessary visits and prevent transmission of COVID-19.
Also pushing this forward is Medicare’s recent announcement that it will expand telehealth reimbursement coverage nationwide, enabling more senior citizens to receive care from their homes, virtually.
Now, millions of seniors (and others) can get the care they need and simultaneously follow the CDC recommendation to stay home during the pandemic. COVID-19 risks are much higher for older patients, so telehealth is now the preferred practice for engaging, protecting and serving this population.
PB: Choosing the right partner is key. There are a lot of products and “apps” out there, including new ones that have just popped up. While fulfilling the immediate need is the top priority, it shouldn’t be the only consideration. Choose a partner that can offer services and support now and beyond COVID-19. Patients need to be seen, but they need to be seen in a safe, familiar experience. Suddenly utilizing consumer products or requiring patients to download another app isn’t the answer.
Allscripts created a specialized plan for clients to swiftly implement telehealth at their organizations through our EHR-agnostic patient engagement platform, FollowMyHealth®. By choosing a platform, you can integrate telehealth and other necessary engagement as part of a full strategy, one that works immediately and provides for other capabilities to be added later. We think an “architected platform approach” to solutions is important as compared to a bunch of “cool apps” that further perpetuate isolated silos of inoperable data.
PB: For our part, we’re enabling virtual solutions to address the pandemic in several new ways.
For example, we have updated clinical decision support (CDS) content across our electronic health record solutions with the most current screening recommendations from the CDC. That CDS content is updated continuously as the situation evolves, insights are revealed and protocols improve. We also introduced Allscripts Virtual Triage, a solution that is EHR-agnostic and built to address the immediate screening needs during this pandemic. The solution acts to ensure depleted resources within an organization are targeted to the most at-risk populations.
This crisis requires open, connected systems and access to data anytime and anywhere. Allscripts is committed to delivering solutions that make these connections possible. We are bringing this expertise to bear now to combat the
most serious health crisis of the past century.
PB: Allscripts has been working closely with our analytics partner, Hospital IQ, to provide health systems and regions real-time visibility into available capacity.
This system is integrated into the Allscripts SunriseTM EHR and enables systems to get data from other locations without requiring any IT resources. That means it can be deployed very rapidly.
We also need to maximize the efficiency of patient discharges. Many COVID-19 patients will have post-acute needs after discharge. At the same time, post-acute facilities are changing their procedures frequently for handling COVID-19 patients, and it’s critical that providers have statewide, real-time data on specific facility availability and patient types that can be admitted there.
Last week, we created an enhancement to this platform that enables post-acute providers to specify their COVID-19 policies and availability. This enhancement is already deployed and live in some states.
To learn more about Allscripts, visit www.Allscripts.com.