How Healthcare Organizations Can Benefit from a Virtual Care Workshop
The pandemic accelerated the adoption of telehealth and other digital health technologies. Now, providers have an opportunity to optimize their virtual workflows.
While the percentage of healthcare visits made through telehealth has dropped off since the early days of lockdown in April through June 2020, the number of telehealth and virtual care visits remain above pre-pandemic levels. Now, many healthcare organizations are considering how they want to position their virtual care services going forward.
It’s important for large health systems and private practices alike to assess their virtual care strategies, especially if they implemented or scaled telehealth quickly in response to the pandemic. CDW’s Virtual Care Workshop is one resource available.
What Is a Virtual Care Workshop, and Why Is It Useful?
The Virtual Care Workshop provides an opportunity for healthcare organizations to meet with solution architects to examine their virtual care program in depth, at no cost to them. The process involves listening to healthcare leadership about their current virtual care solutions and where they want to take their program.
Telehealth, remote patient monitoring, eICU and virtual rounding technologies are all considered within the workshop. However, CDW is constantly evaluating new and existing products and partners to find ones that can best meet healthcare organizations’ needs.
Providers leave the workshop with an assessment and customized plan, including strategies for virtual care technology implementation that will best help them meet their goals. After receiving the assessment, healthcare organizations have the option to partner with CDW to realize the strategies outlined.
The healthcare industry is expected to continue the shift from a fee-for-service model to value-based care, and organizations that are able to put together a good, holistic virtual care plan that allows them to scale are going to be well positioned to meet the challenge head on. It can be more efficient and less costly to provide care virtually. As the industry moves to value-based care, the real value of virtual care to meet the needs of the time will become evident.
Policy changes, such as the those outlined in the Connect for Health Act of 2021 bill, could remove some barriers to widespread adoption of virtual care payments. While several of these barriers were lifted during the pandemic, they will snap back into place at the end of the public health emergency, adversely affecting those organizations that have relied on Medicare telehealth reimbursement for the past 18 months.
Which Healthcare Organizations Can Benefit from a Virtual Care Workshop?
Any healthcare organization trying to optimize, standardize or begin a virtual care program could benefit from the workshop. This is especially true of organizations that quickly implemented or expanded virtual care solutions to meet business continuity needs during the pandemic.
Some organizations may be using a patchwork of technologies across different departments, while others may have taken advantage of the HIPAA requirement waivers when implementing telehealth technology. The workshop can help healthcare organizations identify areas within their workflow that can be made more efficient. It can also help bring telehealth programs into compliance with HIPAA requirements in preparation for the inevitable end to those waivers.
Leaders of smaller healthcare organizations may think they need to be part of a large integrated care delivery network to create a good telehealth program, but that’s not the case. All kinds of organizations use virtual care technologies and workflows in some capacity.
For example, independent nursing facilities may not have the resources that a larger network has, but the workshop gives them access to expertise that will allow them to explore how they can benefit from virtual care. Virtual care programs can allow rural hospitals and stand-alone community hospitals to maintain financial independence by expanding their reach of care. Independent medical groups may have technology disparities within a practice, leading to patients having to use different telehealth platforms when seeing different physicians within the same organization.
Regardless of an organization’s size, healthcare is on a path toward prioritizing digital-first strategies to meet patient demand and ever-changing payment models. Providers that want to keep patients and associated revenues need to strongly consider virtual care solutions.
About the Author:
Elliott Wilson is the director of virtual care for CDW Healthcare. Throughout his rich history in healthcare and innovation, Elliott has come to live and breathe virtual care and how it integrates into healthcare transformation overall. Spending his career in nonprofit healthcare provider systems, Elliott has built an extensive background forming and translating digital strategy into on-the-ground clinical operational reality. Elliott received his bachelor’s degree in marketing and theatre from DeSales University and his MBA from Villanova University.