Telehealth Services Gain Traction Across Demographics
The Information Age of Medicine: Medical Virtualists & Virtual Hospitals
Consumer interest in telehealth as a means of communicating with doctors and for other medical-related services has gained mainstream traction. The ever-growing interest level is because consumers are confidently speaking up about their everyday health needs. The expansion of telehealth is not only showcased as part of Medicare Advantage, but it is also proving important to the millennial sector — now a larger demographic than Baby Boomers.
Let’s face facts: Today’s patients are digitally empowered. Booking the next doctor visit on your smart phone is the millennial way. “Consumers know more, and decidedly want more from their medical practitioners,” says Joseph Pores, Founder and CEO of Call 4 Health. A key reason why telemedicine is proving so effective, according to Pores, is that it can help to identify health concerns early on for patients, in order to avoid complications later.
While telemedicine is able to meet consumer needs by disrupting traditional norms, the current business models are helping to get critical messaging communicated up front and personal. Part of that messaging: “Telemedicine is satisfying patients of all ages and demographics,” says Pores.
Virtual is the new Normal
There’s a new virtual hospital model that’s going mainstream. It’s built on “telehealth technologies, with hundreds of caregivers offering basic medical care as well as advanced services, such as stroke evaluation, mental health counseling, intensive and newborn critical care,” reports Forbes. In a 2018 Health Affairs blog, the authors of “Beyond The Medical Virtualists: Creating Capability In The Health Care Team” write of a “Virtualist movement that involves not just physician specialists but whole care teams devoted to virtual care.” Those who make up the team could include: nurses, pharmacists, medical social workers, psychologists, nutritionists, and physical therapists.
The recent coverage of this virtual model comes as no surprise to Pores, who stands by the telehealth call center model he developed more than 25 years ago. “At a time when new business offshoots continue to evolve, the headline that’s resonating across the US health industry is: “Disrupt, or be disrupted,” says Pores. For example, among the firm’s many services, Call 4 Health offers telemedicine nurse triage and psychiatric services.
It’s About Your Webside Manner
Now that telehealth is valued for broader applications, the adoption of mainstream virtual care grows steadily, especially as new specialties emerge based on population trends and more — to meet the needs of both suburbia and rural communities.
Educating the new crop of virtualists includes techniques for a “webside manner” according to a pair of physicians who rallied about this topic in The Journal of the American Medical Association article “Is it Time for a new Medical Specialist?”Dr. Nochomovitz and Dr. Sharma believe that “consumers indicate a preference for telehealth, when reassured of the quality of the care and the appropriate scope of the virtual visit.” However, they add that a total overhaul that eliminates doctor-patient clinical in-person encounters would be impossible. The theory: “Bricks and clicks will prevail for patients’ convenience and value.”
Pores finds the JAMA article’s premise compelling. After all, Initiative-wise, the definitive key to a successful health management destination is “care.” But how is “the right care” properly managed? “Through process and technology – that’s a given, but the third part of the care equation — your people — is always going to be the tipping point,” says Pores.
About Call 4 Health
More than “Just” a Call Center, Call4Health is a leading telemedicine services provider with virtual call centers for various medical management services, including nurse triage. Virtual call centers at Call4Health are attended to with the utmost concern, compassion, empathy, and efficiency, every hour of the day, every day of the year.