In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, our community has made substantial efforts to mitigate risk of infection exposure- such of which is primarily implemented through appropriate social distancing protocols. Included within this is first, a call to limit operations of and or eliminate operations of all non-essential businesses, practices, and tasks; and second, a push toward the utilization of technology in lieu of face-to-face interaction and collaboration.

Respective to the healthcare system, technology through the lens of telehealth has become an unprecedented resource in the mitigation and or elimination of infection risk for various communities and healthcare facilities across the world. However, this is not to say that, following the lessening of COVID-19, telehealth will be obsolete. In fact, telehealth has the potential to become a pinnacle piece within the healthcare system, as a whole.

In the aftermath of COVID-19, as more and more of the community are comfortable enough to return to the normalcy of non-essential practices and tasks, so too will healthcare facilities experience an influx of patients, new and old, who are returning to receive both essential and “non-essential” care.

When this moment inevitably arrives, the community, as well as the majority of facets in the healthcare system, will be privy to the various functions of telehealth, as well as its potential to offer high-quality, accessible, and affordable healthcare. Telehealth, in this regard, can still be an incredibly beneficial tool for patients, healthcare workers, and for the healthcare system.

There are undeniable limitations to all healthcare facilities- and telehealth provides a more robust coverage for not only an overwhelmed healthcare facility, but for patients seeking care during non-operational hours, for lower-grade Urgent Care needs, for underinsured or uninsured patients, and for patients with limited access to transportation. Telehealth, in these manners, can reach even the most vulnerable individuals within our communities, such as those living in poverty, as well as those living within rural areas.

At RelyMD, our Community Virtual Health (CVH) program provides 24/7 access to our community-based ER-trained physician network. Not only can RelyMD prescribe through the platform, we further provide appropriate care-coordination services to triage to PCP and specialty providers within a healthcare facility’s immediate network to increase overall net-reimbursement. Further, as suggested by healthcare professionals in the midst of COVID-19, telehealth can be utilized to reduce exposure risk to infectious diseases such as the flu, as well as to divert unnecessary Urgent Care or Emergency Department visitations. 

Additionally, RelyMD’s Virtual Post-Acute Care (VPAC) program provides the same 24/7 coverage to virtually assist home-health nurses, and further, to implement follow-up check-ins with a wide array of patients- particularly within that crucial 30 to 60 day discharge window. Such support provides an overall reduction in readmission rates, allowing for patients to remain within their homes and with their families. All of these practices, of course falling in line with the goal of healthcare, generally- making the patient, and patient safety, the utmost priority. 

That being said, the affordability and accessibility of telehealth cannot go unnoticed- especially in the aftermath of COVID-19. We are undeniably interwoven in a phenomenon that has pushed us toward a complete and thorough reevaluation of our perceptions surrounding the healthcare system. Moving forward, we as a community and as a healthcare system, cannot dismiss the wide array of benefits that the inclusion of such technology offers.

RelyMD is a growing digital health company that provides a coordinated telehealth solution to health systems, managed care organizations, and employers. Founded by a group of innovative emergency medicine physicians and healthcare entrepreneurs, we’re on a mission to simplify people’s lives by delivering reliable, trusted medical care – anytime and anywhere – that fosters healthier communities and workplaces. Learn how RelyMD can help address post-COVID-19 initiatives for your organization.

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