Telemedicine: A Growing Trend in 2015. Embed code available at www.inhousephysicians.com

TeleClinics: The Intersection of Technology and Value-Based Healthcare

telemedicineIn a recent blog of mine entitled – Telemedicine for Employers – Is it Really Saving us Money? – I discussed the limitations of current employer telemedicine solutions. These limitations included diagnosis accuracy, missed opportunities to close gaps in care associated with costly chronic diseases and minimal cost savings.

Despite these limitations, the current employer telemedicine model does provide employees and dependents with a convenient and user-friendly way to receive prompt medical attention for minor ailments.

 

The next generation of telemedicine

So what if employers could have access to a new telemedicine solution that offered the same convenience and prompt care to employees, but did not have any of the limitations described above? This new solution could address much more than minor ailments and tackle chronic disease and complex case care.

The new solution offered higher diagnostic accuracy and visits with a physician specialists. And this new solution delivered preventative care, wellness services, and population health management. This “advanced” telemedicine solution exists, and InHouse Physicians has named it the “TeleClinic.” It’s the next generation of telemedicine for employers with worksites as few as 150 employees.

 

How a TeleClinic works

A TeleClinic consists of the following:

 

The worksite nurse is stationed in a small clinic environment. When an employee arrives for their scheduled medical appointment the on-site nurse electronically records the history of present illness and vital signs.

As in a traditional medical office, the next step is for the provider to evaluate the patient – and that is exactly what happens in a TeleClinic. The difference is that the patient visit occurs remotely, via an advanced telemedicine solution. The onsite nurse initiates a telemedicine visit and electronically shares the patient’s medical history and vital sign information with the provider. Both the patient and the provider can see each other via two-way video on the computer screen.

What happens next is superior to a standard telephone-based telemedicine option.

The onsite nurse administers a physical exam with the assistance of an advanced, two-way video and audio system including specialized medical instrumentation. The system allows the remote provider to have “eyes” and “ears” into the clinic whereby they can listen to lung and heart sounds and visualize body parts such as the ear, throat and skin with high acuity. EKG and even ultrasound readings can also be transmitted in real-time!

 

TeleClinic delivers results

A TeleClinic leverages the benefits of a worksite clinic with the advanced technology of telemedicine to deliver a far superior product as compared to the current telemedicine solutions available to employers.

It also addresses all the pitfalls of the current telemedicine vendor solutions enabling long term, trusting relationships with the medical staff, delivering improved diagnostic accuracy, addressing chronic disease and associated gaps in care, and providing preventative and wellness services.

A TeleClinic delivers a comprehensive worksite clinic solution for smaller sites with as few as 150 lives, allowing the clinic to evaluate most any medical condition and prescribe treatment including additional testing, medications or other medical therapies for only a fraction of the cost of a traditional worksite clinic.

 

Author Info

Jonathan Spero

Dr. Spero is the CEO of InHouse Physicians and a thought leader in the area of cost containment solutions for self-insured employers. Dr. Spero graduated medical school from the University of California, Davis. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine from Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego and has practiced both internal and emergency medicine. Dr. Spero is an expert speaker on employee health care cost containment strategies, energy and performance, as well as medical risk management for corporate meetings and events. Dr. Spero resides in Chicago, Illinois.

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