Health Care Experts Discuss Value of Telehealth – For Providers and Patients
URAC, the leading digital health accrediting body, convened a panel of experts to discuss the role telehealth can play in the lives of clinicians as well as patients. URAC’s President and CEO, Shawn Griffin, MD, was joined by Carrie Nelson, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Amwell, and Ann Mond Johnson, Chief Executive Officer at the American Telemedicine Association (ATA). With their combined 60 years of experience in health care, the panelists focused on a variety of topics that are important to the telehealth discussion.
Telehealth remains a vital part of the health delivery system and one thing that we don’t talk about enough is how clinicians can benefit from the use of telehealth in their practice. Digital health helps reduce provider burnout and increase diversity of providers in the health care workforce. And not only does telehealth allow providers to maintain a healthy work-life balance, it also can enhance a multi-disciplinary model of care, which has been demonstrated to improve patient outcomes.
The three leaders discuss at some length the how the combination of interactive, digital and in-person care can result in higher satisfaction for providers and better outcomes for patients. In addition, they talk about how the hybrid model of telehealth and in-person care can improve the richness of the patient provider relationship, especially in the realm of mental health care. Virtual care for behavioral health needs allows provider to experience as close to a home visit as they have seen. The view into a patient’s surroundings and environment that telehealth allows can uncover issues that a provider may not see in an in-office building. Finally, using telehealth for treatment of behavioral health issues allows reduction in risk and improvement in safety for providers.
The trio also digs into how digital health can overcome access issues, whether for specific diagnoses, rural or urban patients and can help eliminate health disparities.
About the Author
Dr. Shawn Griffin is the first physician to serve as President & CEO for URAC – the country’s leading independent, nonprofit accreditation organization. Shawn brings a fresh view and leading-edge ideas to the sometimes-rigid world of health care. He has expertise in a wide variety of health care topics and can be counted on for engaging and insightful commentary that’s relevant to health care professionals and approachable for laypeople.