Making Temporary Progress Permanent: The Future of Telehealth

The impact of the ongoing pandemic has served as a propellant in healthcare innovation, going beyond virtual visits to overcoming geographic barriers and addressing social determinants of health. And while much progress has been made there are still challenges at the state and federal level that need consideration for the future. These include concerns around permanency or expiration of temporary legislation, access to broadband connectivity, and disparities and inequities in underserved communities. The choices we make today will pave the way for the next decade.

At this year’s ATA annual conference ViTel Net’s experts emphasized the critical role that leaders need to play in the continued growth and evolution of healthcare and the role of telehealth in patient care. Most of which starts with the prioritization of telehealth expansion into multiple modalities like Remote Patient Monitoring and planning for future emergencies and disasters. With 43% of consumers having used telehealth in 2020 and 82% rating it as equal to or better than in person experiences, and over 2 million virtual visits from March 2019 to the beginning of 2021 compared to 16,500 in the same time frame prior to the pandemic; telehealth champions must seize the opportunity to expand adoption. As the CDC shared,  more than a decade’s worth of change was accomplished over the past year, but there’s still much that needs to be done to fully realize the benefits of remote care.

Hear what the experts at ViTel Net had to say below:

Dr. Robert Kolodner, Vice President and Chief Medical Director of ViTel Net, led the discussion around Looking Forward: Evolution of Remote Monitoring for Insightful Patient Care which focused on RPM as a modality for preventative uses, systematic tracking of personal health data, and aligning value by engaging patients in their own health. Patients with chronic conditions can be monitored in real-time with telehealth and can help reduce and manage the cost of care while improving patient outcomes.

Mark Noble, Chief Operating Officer at ViTel Net, presented for Lessons Learned in Launching a National Emergency Tele Critical Care Network for COVID-19 and Future Disasters. A session that focused on the NETCCN initiative to bridge communication gaps and implement a cross-regional & cross-health system approach to support overwhelmed health systems during current and future crises. Through expanded clinical support, turnkey technology, and scalable solutions, NETCCN established a federally funded platform for small and large hospitals and networks to receive much needed relief in caring for large patient cohorts.

If one thing was made clear during this year’s annual ATA 2021 conference, it’s that the work cannot end here. With temporary legislation still in place, patient expectations now completely changed, and health systems still struggling to find a permanent place for telehealth in post-pandemic environments, leaders must step up and provide the necessary guidance and support to integrate telehealth into patient health. ViTel Net’s latest White Paper 15 Key Performance Indicators to Power Success in Telehealth provides critical tips and tricks that enable health systems to build scalable and connected care for patients and providers across the continuum of care.