As the popularity of telehealth is growing exponentially, medical facilities across the U.S. are trying to find the best ways to adopt this technology. With its telehealth services growing at a rate of nearly 22% a year, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affair is, undoubtedly, one of the best advocates for telehealth and the perfect torchbearer for telehealth adoption.
A recent article that appeared in Medcitynews.com discussed how the VA is taking its telehealth initiative forward with success. At the Connected Health Symposium in Boston the last week of October, Neil Evans, co-director of Connected Health at the Department of Veterans Affairs, suggested that in order to successfully implement telehealth, facilities must do so by the means of their nurses and physicians. The article quoted Evans as saying, “Healthcare is a relationship based on trust, particularly the relationship veterans have with their providers,”
“What we really find is…when patients are invited to participate in telehealth by their personal provider, it increases adoption tremendously and patients are far more likely to enroll in the platform.”
Stressing the importance of connecting telehealth services with e-health records, Evans revealed that 2.5 million veterans had registered themselves with VA’s patient portal called My HealtheVet. While it makes health data such as lab tests, vital signs, and prescription medication accessible to the users, it provides the facility of secure messaging as well.
Other panelists at the symposium included American Well CEO, Aaron Schoenberg and WellPoint’s chief strategy officer, Dr. Martin Silverstein, who shared their insights on the subject of telehealth adoption by medical organizations as well. While Schoenberg emphasized the importance of their mobile app that had led to 100 times more virtual visits, Silverstein spoke about the significance of the context of (patients’) environment.
However, the major challenges impeding the wider adoption of telehealth includes reimbursement issues, as well as the patient’s comfort level with telehealth. As such, the doctors and caregivers have a huge responsibility to familiarize patients with the technology and promote its benefits, just like the VA is doing.
Do you think the VA is our role model for telehealth?
About Bob Higginbotham
Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org