Virtual care is transforming the way that healthcare is delivered by providing patients with more access and control over how, where, and when they will receive care. The delivery of healthcare is not limited to facilities or physician offices; it extends into outpatient recovery by helping patients access care which is more immediate, more individualized, and more innovative than traditional post-discharge programs.
Immediate Access to Care: Patients can recover faster with improved access to clinicians and specialists. Virtual visits can decrease the time between discharge and the provision of follow-up care by helping a healthcare facility “bring the hospital to the patient’s home.” Providers can make the transition of care simple and seamless by utilizing tablets, smartphones, and laptops which the patient and the provider already owns.
Individualized Delivery of Care: With virtual care, the day to day management of diseases and conditions can be personalized to the patient, who is receiving care from the comfort of his / her home, and at his / her convenience. Virtual visits can reduce travel time and expenses related to securing needed transportation (and potential accommodations) for follow-up visits.
Impactful Care and Concern: Outpatients are at risk for readmission, especially within the initial 30 days post discharge. Readmission risk is not necessarily related to the initial cause of hospitalization; the hospital stay itself can induce significant stress in patients which may have unfortunate lasting effects. Virtual care can help care providers monitor and motivate their discharged patients on a more frequent and timely basis. With additional interactions, care providers will be alerted to the patient’s evolving situation and can address emerging or urgent crisis in order to determine if immediate intervention is needed.
Virtual care will help healthcare facilities achieve the Triple Aim by delivering immediate, individualized, and impactful care in order to improve the patient experience and the health of populations while reducing the per capita cost of health care. Because it is recognized to be a viable and valuable way for providers to extend care beyond their facilities to discharged patients, virtual care will revolutionize the healthcare system and ultimately enhance patient satisfaction and overall outcomes.