Expanding access to telehealth starts with a strong foundation

Expanding access to telehealth starts with a strong foundation


National Health IT Week is nationwide action week founded by HIMSS and the Institute for e-Policy. It focuses on driving change within the U.S. health system and around the world through information and technology.

This year’s themes focus on supporting healthy communities. The goal is to drive transformation of our health and wellness ecosystem to promote better health outcomes and health equity. As an official partner for this event, each day this week we will focus on different health topics that showcase how IT is transforming health and creating healthy communities.

Using telehealth to improve outcomes

Today, we are focusing on expanding access to telehealth. Telehealth is a critical component of supporting healthy communities, as it has the potential to empower patients and expand access to high-quality care—particularly for underserved and rural populations.

Care used to be constrained by time and place. But that’s changing. Advances in video technology and bandwidth, coupled with rising demand, are opening up new opportunities to close gaps in patient care and management. And the impact of telehealth is broad. It includes margin management, clinical scale, care continuity, market expansion, population health management, and more. It has game-changing potential, and the use cases are diverse.

Telehealth has evolved a lot over the past few years, and it’s finally starting to deliver on the massive potential it has, even if overall adoption remains low. When this innovative solution is supported by data and the right IT infrastructure, healthcare can become more accessible, affordable, and quality improves.

Delivering on the promise of telehealth with the right foundation

What we are finding is that many healthcare organizations don’t have the right Collaboration technology foundation to deploy solutions like EHR-integrated telehealth and provider video consult. In fact, Collaboration is consistently one of the least mature technology domains within a hospital.

In order to address these foundational infrastructure gaps, healthcare organizations can leverage findings from the HIMSS Analytics Infrastructure Adoption Model (INFRAM) assessment. This assessment can help your healthcare organization measure the relative levels of adoption of technical infrastructure. By identifying specific benchmarks to reach before going live with more advanced business and clinical applications, such as Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems, IoT, telemedicine, etc., the INFRAM ensures that a health system’s infrastructure is stable, manageable, and extensible.

Using information derived from the INFRAM, it’s possible to assess where your organization sits in relation to the technology requirements of higher stages and to map out a pathway to roll out new services – helping your clinicians deliver the best possible care for your patients.

Want to explore how telehealth solutions can help connect clinicians, increase patient engagement, and simplify communications management?

Check out our Telehealth and Collaboration Solutions.

Check back for the rest of our National Health IT Week blog series to learn more about IT strategies that can help:

 

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