As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth visits are soaring.
According to Politico, during the height of nationwide shutdowns, Medicare telehealth visits grew from just a few thousand per week to more than 1 million. Our broader Providence Health System, which includes Swedish, ran almost 70,000 telehealth patient visits last year and scaled up to 70,000 visits per week amid the pandemic (Healthcare Dive).
We believe that as telehealth continues to evolve and become increasingly sophisticated, it will continue supplementing the work we’re doing in our hospitals and clinics even after the pandemic. But the benefits of telehealth don’t just apply to patients; they apply to those working in health care as well.
Here are five benefits of telehealth for caregivers.
- Workplace safety: During times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth offers a way for caregivers to protect themselves and safely care for patients from a distance, limiting their exposure to pathogens.
- Health management: Telehealth offers caregivers the opportunity to address their own health concerns at a time that’s convenient for them.
- Mental health wellness: Provider stress and burnout has increased during the pandemic, but telehealth can help. Here, we offer caregivers and their household members the Behavioral Health Concierge program, which provides free virtual care visits with licensed mental health professionals with same-day or next-day access.
- Opportunities for specialization: Many caregiver roles are changing, now requiring specialization in telehealth. The Medical Assistant role is one example; technological know-how and a comfort level with virtual care may give some a leg up over other applicants. (Interested in joining us as a Medical Assistant? See open Medical Assistant jobs here.)
- Workload management: Telehealth can help teams redistribute workloads to relieve heavy burdens on certain caregivers. For example, our telehospitalist program helps ease the workload of daytime physicians and nurses by providing a remote-attending model that’s available from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. In addition, we’re encouraging telehealth as an alternative to nonessential emergency department and urgent care visits so our caregivers can focus on patients who are most in need.
According to Healthcare Dive, “The coronavirus kicked the digitization of the healthcare industry up to light speed, cramming a decade of regulatory change and consumer adoption into roughly a month and a half.” Though reimbursement policies may continue evolving, telehealth offers incredible opportunities for driving down costs. Legislation is expected to continue including new flexibilities, allowing more reimbursements for telehealth services.
One of our values is excellence and that applies to telehealth, too. We set the highest standards for ourselves and all of our services. Through transformation and innovation, we strive to improve the health and quality of life in our communities – and our caregivers’ lives – in every way we can.
Interested in working with us? View all jobs here.