Virtual care – the use of technology to deliver health care – has been part of the patient care landscape for years, but its popularity has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What do people need to know about virtual care? Here are six key takeaways:
- Virtual care allows clinicians to be available to patients when and where they need them. It helps patients prioritize their health and get virtual care visits for specific conditions. It makes health care more accessible and flexible for patients and allows clinicians to maintain closer, more frequent connections with their patients.
- Virtual care plays an important role in primary care. Virtual care visits can address conditions as complex as a chronic care patient needing to adjust their wellness plan or as simple as a busy parent needing to know if they need to take time off work for an ongoing cold. Virtual care visits to discuss questions and provide education and encouragement is a big benefit for patients.
- Virtual care is convenient for both patients and clinicians. Technology continues to evolve making both more widely available, giving more people an entry point for virtual care. Patients that establish care during an initial face-to-face office visit can benefit from convenient virtual follow-up visits.
- Virtual care can address several common patient conditions. While it’s most often used for ongoing follow-up care and minor injuries, virtual care is also ideal for any situation that may not require a face-to-face consultation. This saves time for clinicians and frees up their schedules for more hands-on visits and treatments.
- Virtual care is surprisingly simple technologically. Every Good Clinic consult room is outfitted with desktop computers and a large monitor. When a client is engaging over virtual care, there is a USB-connected webcam with integrated microphone mounted on the top of the monitor for the clinician to use for high quality audio video connection. This allows the clinician to maintain virtual eye contact while still having access to the record in support of the client visit.
- Virtual care is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Not every patient has the bandwidth or devices necessary for a full-featured virtual care experience. That’s why at The Good Clinic,we know it’s important to work with each client and ensure our nurse practitioners are using the right tools and technology at the right time, so our clients have the best possible experience and outcome.
For the past several years, virtual care models have increasingly become a positive part of our healthcare experience. Overall, people are finding that the benefits of virtual care are well worth considering.
Bradley Case knows healthcare innovation, with more than 28 years' experience in consumer engagement strategies, clinical model design, and the integration of technology into medicinal practice. The president of The Good Clinic, he also held leadership roles with Estrella Health, Bright Health, UnitedHealth Group, and SymphonyCareTM.