IT executives address the past year – a “compelling desire to quickly grow” and deliver treatment in “fresh and unique ways” – and explain how such fast pivots are contributing to long-term changes in the latest iteration of our lessons learned feature series.
The epidemic has made an environment of healthcare that has never been seen before in human history. It also prompted CIOs and other health information technology executives to reconsider their commitment to completing new tasks.
The Significance of Telemedicine
Also at a prestigious healthcare organization like Geisinger, the rapid growth of telemedicine since early 2020 has taught many lessons, most notably that telemedicine now has a larger role to play in the future.
“Telehealth wasn’t really taking off all that well prior to the pandemic; it was sort of a long, sluggish development without a high degree of uptake,” said Geisinger’s Fisne.
“However, once we were able to advance our technologies to the point of progressing home health programs, it took off. In reality, growth has been rapid, which has been extremely beneficial in terms of improving the patient experience.”
Improving Capabilities of Healthcare
Hilburn of Grady Health System, like Fisne of Geisinger, has had his hands full of telemedicine in the last year or so. Grady, according to Hilburn, learned that its telehealth services needed to be significantly expanded in order to satisfy the public health need.
“Our company has been using telehealth in basic ways for a few years now,” he said, “but we soon realized that we weren’t prepared to deliver the specialized quality of service that was needed.”
Development in efficiency and effectiveness
“Grady intends to build on this technology by providing other telehealth capabilities that we not only deliver within our enterprise but can optimize strategically by delivering specialty services to patients outside of the local region,” Hilburn said. “These tools have aided in improving the quality and efficacy of health care delivery.”
While this technology has a lot of potentials, it still had some drawbacks that Grady Health is still working to overcome. Any of these issues manifested themselves in the form of patients and caregivers, necessitating time spent on both education and process management.