What Telehealth Means to Me
To get started, I will talk about what I see when I look at telehealth and why it’s truly meaningful. Also, I’m going to give two specific use cases as to how telehealth has helped me, how it can help others, and why I started a telehealth company in the first place. To me, telehealth means convenience. It means better patient outcomes. And most importantly, it means an overall better caregiver experience.
Telehealth Simplifies the Experience for Caregivers and Patients
“Having gone through the hospice and skilled nursing facilities experience as the primary caregiver for my grandmother, I used my telehealth technology so that I was able to go to work most of the days. Rather than having to go physically to a nursing home or a long-term care facility when a clinician would call and report complications that were going on with my grandmother, telehealth was the answer.” – Carrie Chitsey
In this instance, it was very easy for the hospice facility to use my own telehealth technology, video in, and put a tablet in front of my grandmother. Through my video technology, I could talk to her this way, and I could ask specific questions that only I would know to ask to find out how she was feeling. Being able to see her through video really allowed me to see if there were changes in her condition. And that let me go virtually to the hospice agency that I used for my grandmother before she passed.
What’s important to keep in mind is that my grandmother stayed in the hospice facility and didn’t have a telehealth solution. So those nurses and providers who worked at my grandmother’s hospice facility daily were using my telehealth platform to communicate with me while I was at work. As a result, this saved so much time because I didn’t have to drive an hour to my grandmother’s particular location, only to find out that I didn’t even need to be there in the first place, and then have to turn around and drive another hour back to the office.
Now, I’m going through the same thing again as a caregiver with my father, who has stage five renal failure. Using my telehealth technology, I can talk to his nephrologists and other chronic care doctors. This allows me to only have to take him to necessary in-person appointments. Reducing half of my dad’s in-person appointments by moving the follow-ups to telehealth for a chronic care patient is convenient for both the patient and the caregiver.
Thus, a chronic care patient can literally go from having two, three in-person appointments per week to having none. For example, if they adopt telehealth’s telepharmacy side, patients can use video to speak to a pharmacist about change in medications and hospital discharge. And when we look at Gen X caregivers making these hospital and provider decisions, we are looking at telehealth as a time saver for us. This provides a way to get better patient outcomes with more outreach when we can make healthcare decisions.
Telemental Health Reduces No Shows and Improves the Patient Care Experience
The second use case I want to talk about is regarding mental health. When we look at youth and senior mental health, which are kind of the bookends of mental health, there still is a huge opportunity to use telehealth to reach these segments. For instance, if I look at my own son who sees a therapist via telehealth and still did pre-COVID, it serves as that checkpoint every week. Whether he’s in his room videoing with the therapist or talking to a physical appointment, telehealth makes it easy.. And as a result, no show rate reduces. If our week is really crazy or traveling, my son can still, regardless of where we are, shut the door, get on video, and have that mental health appointment.
And the same goes for seniors as it does with the youth population. As we’re looking at these senior facilities, we see a sense of isolation. Telehealth may be the only outside interaction that they have for that week, whether using video to talk to a therapist, family members, or caregivers, and get that face-to-face emotional connection. So, in essence, that’s what telehealth means to me.
Filled with insightful information, “The Driving Forces of Telehealth Adoption During COVID” infographic is now ready for download. Listen to the healthcare podcast where we talk about all the use cases for telehealth. Subscribe to the podcast and rate us! Have a Knowledge Knugget idea? Reach out and submit today.