The rationale for the Initiative
Telehealth and virtual visit applications have rapidly become a primary way of improving healthcare and making it more widespread. With the development of the internet sphere, the reach and influence of medical organizations have had an opportunity to expand significantly, allowing for a range of new possibilities. In the current realities of the world, the existence of a healthcare delivery structure that focuses on distance support, the maintenance of health, and communication is crucial. A large body of research currently exists on the use and application of virtual healthcare, pointing out some of the beneficial qualities and opportunities it can present for medical organizations (Cheung et al., 2019).
Most evidently, the remote access to healthcare improves its accessibility, making it possible to assist more patients. It is proven that the introduction of a telehealth system decreases wait times in physical locations, reduces crowding in hospitals (Sharma et al., 2017). Furthermore, it is also important to note that younger populations are more likely to use telehealth, and can prefer it to an in-person visit in some cases. To reap the various benefits associated with the use of the internet in health delivery, it is necessary to adopt a virtual healthcare application, and utilize it to better meet the needs of patients.
The current state of the healthcare industry in the United States is difficult to measure accurately. With the effects of the Covid-19 still largely persistent, health providers have suffered major financial losses, and are in the process of recovery. The pandemic has hit the country in a very heavy manner, with a lack of government support or regulation being large to fault for the strain put on the healthcare system. Under resourcing of healthcare organizations and the public health, the sector has left the US healthcare industry ill-prepared. With many organizations experiencing a sharp drop in revenue, the ability to support patients was drastically reduced, coupled with the understaffing and emergency budgeting problems (Blumenthal et al., 2020).
The virus has also exposed some of the more pressing issues of the healthcare system, including the racial and ethnic disparities in the quality of healthcare (Blumenthal et al., 2020). Those that are part of minority groups have been consistently found to suffer from worse health outcomes, which is a serious issue worth addressing. The process of healthcare was further complicated by the need to abide by the distancing and sanitation measures introduced by the pandemic.
Taking all of these considerations into analysis, the state of the internal US healthcare market is complicated. Most health organizations are in the process of adapting their services to better suit the pandemic regulations, or are attempting to recuperate the costs of operations (Blumenthal et al., 2020). However, this period can also be seen as a time of new opportunities and initiatives. The Covid-19 has forces many to reconsider their approach to healthcare, and the way it should be distributed to the population. Distance-based treatment and consultation can be seen as more important than ever, with an increasing number of people unable to leave their homes. The application and use of telehealth, therefore, present a valuable venue for future growth.
Externally, the state of the healthcare industry is much similar to the state of American healthcare, with most organizations struggling to adjust to the circumstances of the pandemic in a suitable way. With the strain on the workers more than doubling due to the virus, the same problems of budgeting and understaffing plague all healthcare organizations. The adjustment and recovery period is slowly proceeding, with health providers either stepping out of the field entirely, or finding ways to continue their operation. Additionally, the considerations of telehealth and virtual healthcare have also risen.
Goals and Outcomes
There are a number of goals in the process of introducing new methods of healthcare delivery, with a portion of them being fueled by the pandemic. A healthcare provider is mainly focused on two considerations: securing profits for their organization and giving the public access to healthcare services. The provision of healthcare serves the larger goal of promoting the health of the community. Firstly, the use and the expansion of a telehealth system allows healthcare providers to better adjust to the Covid-19 regulations and the needs of the patients. A large number of people are staying at home because of the risks associated with visiting crowded places, which includes public hospitals. With the use of virtual visits and consultations, many unnecessary in-person visitations may be eliminated, allowing people to stay safe.
Furthermore, the use of the internet and long-distance communication expands the reach of healthcare, giving people in remote areas the ability to be better supported (Gogia, 2020). The improved patient reach meets the goal of improving hospital revenue and has the ability to raise the general healthiness of the community. As another goal that can be met with the introduction of telehealth services, virtual healthcare also improves the general quality of healthcare provision and its timeliness. By reducing the number of people coming with in-person visits, the introduction of this initiative can help to significantly reduce the time it takes to serve each patient individually.
Structurally speaking, the use of a telehealth system can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Firstly, the establishment of an online resource for patients is needed, in a form of a website. This website would help patients make appointments, talk with their doctors, receive consultations, and be informed on the scheduling of the healthcare organization. The webpage will feature a login functionality, allowing patients to input and access their medical data, get quick access to medical records, and all available treatment information. It is integral that a method of active communication is present as well, to make sure that the clients have a way to interact with healthcare professionals in a manner convenient to them.
The formation of an internet-based resource enhances transparency between the patient and healthcare provider and gives the patients agency over their own condition. On a technical side of the consideration, establishing partnerships with other companies will be a necessity, especially in creating an online resource for people to interact with. Those proficient in cloud-based data storage and sharing will be involved, as that is the primary way to securely contain patient data. Furthermore, programmers and technicians responsible for creating, maintaining, and operating the site will be necessary. For the purposes of communicating with the patients more effectively, a number of operators and proxies are needed as well.
Stakeholders for the implementation of this strategy are varied, including policy-makers, physicians and patients themselves. The first group will be responsible for creating a feasible and working strategy for the implementation of telehealth and virtual visit systems. Policies created by them are an essential part of maintaining a new initiative, and form the basis for active practice. Physicians, on the other hand, are the concerned party that will use the introduces technology and policy in their day-to-day work. The main interests of this party are focused on improving the quality of healthcare, and ensuring that each patient has the ability to lead a long and prosperous life.
Lastly, the most important stakeholders in this process are the patients themselves, as they exist on the receiving end of the strategy. Their opinion of the telehealth, its effectiveness and timeliness in addressing their problems is what decides both the revenue of a healthcare organization and the health of the population. To reconcile the differences between these three groups of stakeholders, a focus on affective and involved leadership must be made. A high-quality system for leadership and management can ensure that the goals and methods of their subordinates are aligned, and that the organization works within the same range of values at all times. The continues subscription to high quality of service, and a patient-based approach will also allow the organization to satisfy the third group of stakeholders.
Blumenthal, D., Fowler, E. J., Abrams, M., & Collins, S. R. (2020). Covid-19 — Implications for the Health Care System. New England Journal of Medicine, 383(15), 1483–1488. Web.
Cheung, L., Leung, T. I., Ding, V. Y., Wang, J. X., Norden, J., Desai, M., Harrington, R. A., & Desai, S. (2019). Healthcare Service Utilization under a New Virtual Primary Care Delivery Model. Telemedicine and e-Health, 25(7), 551–559. Web.
Gogia, S. (2020). Rationale, history, and basics of telehealth. Fundamentals of Telemedicine and Telehealth, 11–34. Web.
Sharma, R., Fleischut, P., & Barchi, D. (2017). Telemedicine and its transformation of emergency care: a case study of one of the largest US integrated healthcare delivery systems. International Journal of Emergency Medicine, 10(1). Web.