Telemedicine is enabling healthcare organizations to improve patient engagement and satisfaction. According to Dr. Peter Rasmussen, the Medical Director of Distance Health at the Cleveland Clinic, telemedicine helps their organization in their primary operations comprising patient access, patient experience, patient safety, and patient retention using connected devices, virtual visits, remote imaging transfers, and more. Most physician consultations chiefly consist of information transfer such as reviewing an X-ray, post-surgery follow-up, or counseling. But these consultations result in children missing classes at school and their parents/caretakers missing days at work. Also, visiting the healthcare provider may require hours of traveling along with risking infection during the journey and at the hospital/clinic, especially for individuals with weak immune systems.
Telemedicine enables the patients/caregivers to use blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, activity tracker, obstetrics equipment, and more to provide the healthcare providers with information about the patient’s health parameters such as blood pressure, temperature, weight, and urine analysis, even from miles away. This allows patients to receive the care their health condition requires, without crowding the doctor’s chambers. Healthcare providers can reach out to individuals who exhibit abnormal signs and symptoms with the care they require.
Research at Johns Hopkins has indicated poor medication adherence resulting in up to $300 billion in avoidable healthcare costs. To address this issue, the Lynn (Mass.) Community Health Center intends to provide patients with a medication dispenser that alerts both health workers and pharmacists when a patient misses a dose. Considering the shorter lifespan of people with a major mental illness Emily Johnson, the Community Health Center’s Director of Community Outreach expresses the hope that their coordination goal of engaging patients in preventative care “can reduce their total cost of care, and increase their quality of life.”