Telehealth offers a remote healthcare solution that can reduce the cost of care and lower hospital readmissions for patients, thus enhancing the quality of care. Monitoring patient vitals, providing medication reminders, and facilitating virtual communication with physicians increases patient engagement, allowing patients to take charge of their health.
Over the past several months, significant changes surrounding telehealth and its role in healthcare have taken place. Changes include, CMS’ new, more generous reimbursement policies and several state laws spurring the progression of telehealth programs to address the opioid crisis. These changes reflect the greater movement towards telehealth as an affordable option to improve healthcare access and quality of care. To meet the rising demand for telehealth services, federal and state agencies, as well as nongovernmental organizations, have expanded their grant funding for telehealth programs.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), there are currently 68.5 million displaced persons globally as a result of conflict, war, ecological devastation and human rights violations—the highest level ever recorded. As a result, refugee settlements and other forms of shelter for the displaced have proliferated rapidly around the world, forming the backbone of a global humanitarian crisis.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), has been playing a robust and growing role in the world the past few decades. What most do not realize is artificial intelligence presents itself in many forms that impact daily life. Logging into your social media, e-mail, car ride services, and online shopping platforms all involve artificial intelligence algorithms to improve user experience. One major area AI is growing rapidly is the medical field; specifically, in diagnostics and treatment management. As there is a fear of Artificial Intelligence surpassing human tasks and ability, there is significant research as to how AI can aid in clinical decisions, support human judgement and increase treatment efficiency.
Topics: artificial intelligence
Over the last few years, delivery of health has evolved from in-person office visits to virtual visits and remote patient monitoring. Consumers today value convenience as much as quality and cost, and health systems and other providers have adapted in response to this demand. For the majority of health care providers, workflow revolves around the Electronic Medical Record, the one-stop shop for care coordination, medical data storage, and progress tracking.
Patients with heart failure benefit from exercise and rehabilitation because these interventions increase exercise capacity, improve quality of life, and reduce the risk of cardiac related hospital readmissions. The ability to receive cardiac rehabilitation remotely grants greater access to these vital care interventions. Home based telerehabilitation has been proven to be as effective as in-person rehabilitation, yet the economic outcomes are unknown. A recent study explored this question by performing a cost utility analysis of a home based telerehabilitation program for patients with heart failure.
Telehealth has numerous benefits and clinical applications that can be seen in various medical centers around the country. The usage of telehealth is increasing at a rapid rate, but not just for its innovative approach to patient care. Telehealth technology presents a cost-effective and efficient way to increase patient engagement, maximize patient reach, and deliver a high caliber of care.
In March, Health Recovery Solutions published a blog post on the potential of telehealth to disrupt the current system of treatment for those living with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The post highlighted several aspects of ESRD treatment, including: the cost of treatment to Medicare and other payor agencies, the preference of patients and families to receive treatment at home, and the need to increase engagement between patients and clinicians. Today, we revisit the utilization of telehealth to treat ESRD patients in the wake of recent CMS reimbursement changes.
While numerous studies have examined the use of telemedicine within surgical subspecialties, there has yet to be a study that looks at surgical care from a broader perspective. A recent systematic review aimed to do just that by providing an evidence based overview of telemedicine in surgical care.
In recent years, the use of opioids has skyrocketed, drawing attention from all levels of government across the country. In 2016, the opioid-related overdose deaths reached an all-time high of over 42 thousand, prompting President Trump to declare a public health emergency.[i]