Caregility and WMCHealth Thought Leaders Discuss Telehealth’s Role in the COVID-19 Response with HIMSS TVBy: Luke Mason
Caregility VP of Clinical Solutions Wendy Deibert and Dr. Corey Scurlock, Medical Director of WMCHealth’s eHealth Program, recently sat down with HIMSS TV reporter Susan Morse to discuss telehealth trends during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
Although WMCHealth, a Caregility client, was fairly far down the road with telehealth adoption when COVID hit, the public health crisis accelerated key implementation plans for the health system. Scurlock and his team immediately set about using telehealth to add physician coverage redundancy, increase access to specialists and create COVID-specific workflows that would help clinicians.
Scurlock details how WMC used virtual care resources “to help reduce [clinician] burnout, help increase patient safety and also to help facilitate family communication which was really important during the pandemic.” He goes on to share how his team worked with Caregility to stand up new tele-hospitalist and virtual sitter programs.
Deibert details the steps Caregility has taken to help clients like Westchester Medical Center quickly respond to new challenges. Purpose-built solutions developed by the company include slimline carts that easily bring virtual care to the patient bedside and a mobile app that quickly turns existing smart devices into telehealth endpoints, enabling providers to immediately leverage what’s on hand.
“We saw the need and quickly respond and tried to find ways people could quickly bring up telehealth and keep patients and physicians connected while reducing the risk of being exposed or the amount of PPE everybody needs,” Deibert elaborates.
Morse also asked the telehealth veterans about the patient response to virtual care and about their thoughts regarding the trajectory of telehealth in a post-pandemic world. “The pandemic brought to light the value that telehealth can bring,” said Scurlock. “It brought to light the ability to implement telehealth quickly. And once places got used to that – they will never go back. And patients don’t want to go back.
“When you look at telehealth, if it’s implemented correctly and the right metrics are followed and you have the right partners, the return on investment or return on value for patients is immense. For the US healthcare system, it’s really the way to solve our provider shortages, our aging population and to actually reduce global spending in the long run.
“Having a good flexible platform like Univago is really great. Working with companies like Caregility and the Caregility platform really allows the telehealth provider to outsource most of the monitoring, and most of the day-to-day work on it is almost seamless when you use it. I think we will continue to march forward in telehealth. We will continue to use it in COVID but also expand it into our non-COVID areas and areas we didn’t think that we would before.”
Watch to the full interview on HIMSS TV: Patients, Providers ‘Don’t Want to Go Back’ to a Pre-Telehealth World