From the Front Lines: Dr. VanWingen on COVID-19
My practice had been using telehealth in small numbers to help bridge barriers in care such as geographic distance, home-bound status and patient preference. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. Suddenly, our telehealth platform became the most important tool in caring for our patients. This capability helped us to efficiently connect with, treat and screen our patients; while avoiding risk of transmission and staying HIPAA-compliant.
Telehealth has helped us recover our patient care visits and the threshold for its use has reduced significantly. We are combining our diagnostic skills with the help of Care Convene to see visits such as psychiatric care, medication reviews, headaches, orthopedic issues and dermatologic problems. If we cannot fully meet the need with a telehealth visit, we can easily bring the patient in for a much more focused visit, filling in the gaps. This might include a point of care test with nursing, a pulse oximetry reading, a procedure or a focused exam to direct therapy. This, in turn, provides better patient engagement.
We anticipate the next phase of our care, meeting the chronic disease needs of our patients with Care Convene which also provides the framework for population health. Patients can use the Care Convene platform to track progress in their therapy, log symptoms and trend biometric data. Further, care managers and other care team members can use the platform to engage with patients.
Care Convene reduces the burden of time and documentation for healthcare providers. Its intuitive resources lead patients down problem-based paths with focused questioning before handing off the visit to the provider with much of the data collection provided. Please note that these questions were designed by healthcare providers to meet their needs. The provider then engages with the patient via a live chat or video to collect the remaining subjective data. Electronic prescribing can then be performed if needed. A record of the visit is then seamlessly sent to the named provider’s office if needed.
Care Convene is free to healthcare providers and has no contract.
In sum, Care Convene can meet the needs of your practice to engage patients for urgent, episodic, routine and chronic disease management care. It is uniquely poised to allow providers to provide focused visits and manage population health. Healthcare providers can use the platform as little or as much as they want with no cost or obligations.
Jeffrey VanWingen, M.D.