The Triple Aim and The Role of Virtual Care

Developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the IHI Triple Aim is a framework that describes an approach to increase the value of healthcare and optimize health system performance. The IHI Triple Aim framework serves as a vision for transforming the health care system to better meet the needs of people and patients.  Three interrelated components comprise the core of the Triple Aim:

  • Improving the individual experience of care (including quality and satisfaction)
  • Improving the health of populations
  • Reducing the per capita cost of care

The intersection of the above three components is critical as no one is accountable for all three dimensions in most health care settings today, according to the IHI.  All three of the Triple Aim dimensions should be addresses at the same time in order to benefit the health of our communities, school systems, and patients.

Organizations can achieve the Triple Aim by deploying  virtual care in order to deliver timely, quality, and cost-effective care.

  • Better Care: Secure video conferencing technology enables clinicians and care team staff to conduct virtual visits on any device, at anywhere and at any time– resulting in improved quality and timeliness of care. Health care providers are available on-demand and can bring personalized, individualized care to patients – whether they are in a healthcare facility or their own home.
  • Better Health: Virtual care can drive better staff utilization around patients’ needs.  By utilizing virtual visits, medical staff can continue to monitor patient needs – especially for those patients who have recently been discharged.  Secure video conferencing technology enables care coordinators and/or case managers to stay in more frequent contact with their patients, address medication reconciliation issues in real time, and motivate continued adherence to the treatment plan.
  • Lower Costs: Virtual care can decrease travel time and travel costs for health care providers and patients.  Conducting virtual visits and consults allows “drive time” to be converted to “patient time.”  Secure video conferencing technology helps patients access care in a more convenient manner, on their schedule, while enabling care team staff to see more patients, more frequently.

Virtual care is emerging as a critical force in helping healthcare organizations, providers, and patients achieve all three dimensions of the Triple Aim. Given the immediacy and impact of virtual care, one can expect that it will also drive greater staff satisfaction, retention, and engagement – thus, helping a healthcare organization achieve the Quadruple Aim.

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