In this digital age, telemedicine solution brings an opportunity to bridge the traditional gap between patients and healthcare practitioners. On one hand, while telemedicine examples are an opportunity to not lose hours in travelling or waiting in line to access quality healthcare services for patients, while on the other hand it also enables healthcare practitioners to better manage their practice, improve efficiency and maximize productivity by reaching out to more patients.
Today, there is a large potential for the uptake of telemedicine, given the historical lack of medical facilities available not just for remote and rural areas, but also in urban centres. While, the telemedicine technology was initially meant to reach out to the remote communities (which is still one of the main scopes of the digital health technology), with time the scope of telemedicine has enlarged considerably taking into account the needs of the urban centres, as well as, improving the efficiency and practice management of healthcare practitioners.
What are the Examples of Telemedicine?
Today, there are loads of telemedicine examples being implemented by hospitals, as well as, communities to ensure access to quality healthcare services to all people. Here in this blog, we will be looking at examples of telemedicine and how it improves the healthcare service for patients, as well as, healthcare practitioners.
5 Best Telemedicine Examples for Healthcare Sector
1) Diabetes and Medication Video Education Support at the Medical Center at Bowling Green
Kentucky has one of the highest rates of diabetic patients in the United States. According to some estimates, over 50% of adults are affected by diabetes in the state, with over 15% diabetic patients, and over 35% of people having prediabetes. In the last two decades, the rate of diabetes has doubled from 6.4% to 10.5%, making it one of the most common chronic conditions. To make matters even worse, diabetes is also one of the most expensive chronic illnesses, which costs patients an estimated USD 5.2 billion annually in Kentucky alone. Whereas, the illness further increases the chances of other medical complications like stroke, kidney failure, heart disease, and others, adding to the overall cost of treatment.
One hospital in Kentucky, The Medical Center at Bowling Green identified lifestyle management as the key to suppress the rate of diabetes in the state. In this regard, the medical centre initiated video education to raise awareness about a healthy lifestyle and a standardized approach to manage diabetes. The diabetes video education was aimed to supplement the clinic-led instructions for diabetic patients, as well as, to generally improve the awareness of the disease amongst the population.
In this regard, the medical centre implemented the “SmarTigr” interactive patient engagement TV system. The system was introduced back in 2017 and has proven to be an efficient and effective telemedicine example for hospitals and healthcare facilities to reach out to masses for health awareness. The SmarTigr TV system includes a robust library of videos, as well as training. The system also serves as a training program to improve staff education and efficiency in dealing with diabetic patients.
The system has consistently seen a rise in the number of videos being watched each month, currently averaging over 1,400 monthly views. One recent study also indicates a qualitative improvement in patients who view health messaging, where over 50% of diabetes patients participated in the initiative expressing their commitment to improving their lifestyle for better management of the disease.
2) Dealing with Opioid Crisis with CoxHealth
The opioid crisis in the United States amounts to $504 billion in 2015, according to the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers. Over the years, healthcare institutions have quantified the increasing financial impact of extended hospital stays, lower patient satisfaction, and avoidable readmissions related to the opioid crisis. Not to forget the most devastating loss of human lives due to the crisis.
One of the main drivers of the opioid crisis was found to be the lack of knowledge in patients, as well as, unrealistic expectations and lack of clarity in communications with the caregivers about recovery plans. Also, healthcare practitioners including the paramedic staff face barriers in dealing with the patients’ pain, provided they lack the resources, guidance, and information on the expected behaviours.
To deal with this grim situation, CoxHealth in Springfield, MO, brought together a task force comprising doctors, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, patient experience specialists, administration, and staff educators to raise awareness about the pain and opioid. The task force implemented video education, as a means to raise awareness amongst patients and healthcare practitioners about the experiences involved in opioid treatment. The task force developed and implemented detailed video and written material including general information about pain, pharmacological therapies for pain management, non-pharmacological therapies for treatment, reporting of pain and safe utilization, and disposal of opioids, as a means to provide education on pain and opioids. The Tigr system was used to store the videos and other resources which were then available for patients and healthcare practitioners.
Immediate improvement both qualitative and quantitative was reported amongst patients and healthcare practitioners, post-implementation of the system. It was noted that the system enabled over 80% of patients to discuss pain with their healthcare providers in more detail, whereas, 20% of patients reported to discuss pain management and opioids use with their healthcare providers.
3) Welcome Video and SmarTigr to improve Patients’ Admission Process
For patients that aren’t familiar with modern healthcare facilities, hospital environments can be confusing and even frightening. It is commonly noted that the majority of patients and families are totally unaware of the admission procedures or what to expect for a multiple-day stay at the hospital. Now, the admission process is defined as the starting point of the inpatient services, and a confusing experience at this stage only results in a dissatisfied or negative perception of patients about the healthcare services.
Utilizing the “SmarTigr” system implemented by the Charleston Area Medical Center, in Charleston, WV, the Service Excellence Innovation Team at the CAMC implemented the “Warm Welcome” initiative. This was a short 5 minutes welcome video that starts with the greeting message by the CEO, while also helping patients understand the expected experience for a typical hospital stay.
The implementation of the system witnessed the reduction in time required for admission from 45 minutes to under 15 minutes, improved diagnosis and medication education, and increased whiteboard completion. Also, the system greatly improves the patients’ satisfaction with the services offered at the hospitals.
3) Retail Pharmacy System at Morristown Medical Center
The rising uncertainty about the hospital reimbursements and healthcare reforms, resulted in an increasing number of programs directed to educate patients about the medication needs, as well as, to lower their cost of readmissions. Patients unsatisfied with the quality or amount of education received from hospitals for medication leads to the overall lower HCAHPS score for the country, whereas, it is also one of the most common reasons driving up the readmissions at hospitals. Under these circumstances, hospitals have been looking out for alternative ways to improve the patients’ awareness and education about the medications, to enhance the clinical efficiencies, as well as, to increase the revenue generation.
One hospital, Morristown Medical Center uses its SmarTigr interactive patient engagement system to educate patients about their medications, improve the communication channels for patients, as well as, raise awareness among patients for their retail pharmacy services through the service applications.
To achieve these objectives, the hospital created a “Retail Pharmacy” option in its SmarTigr system. The option enables patients to access various information pages, including the expectations for service levels, as well as, to assist patients for prescription fulfilment of the discharge medications. The system enables patients to either self-pick the medications or has them delivered at their bedside, which can simply be done through a few simple clicks based requests. The system also includes medication information to raise awareness amongst patients through short two to three minutes of videos detailing the impacts of the medication along with the side effects.
The “Retail Pharmacy” initiative has proven to be a great success for the Morristown. The system has enabled patients and their families to access the pharmacy pages and know details about the services offered by the hospital’s pharmacy. The system also led to an increase in prescription fulfilment by over 15%, which eventually translate into more revenue for the hospital.
5) CHF Education Plan at Charleston Area Medical Center
West Virginia has the highest rates for cardiovascular disease in the United States. Heart Attack is the leading cause of death amongst the adults in the state, whereas, congestive heart failure (CHF) is the number one reason for patients’ 30-days readmission in the hospital.
Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) had already in place an intensive approach to curb the readmissions due to CHF or other chronic diseases. And to add to the efficiency of their efforts against the readmissions due to chronic diseases, the CAMC deployed the Telemedicine Services SmarTigr across all its hospital campuses, as a means to improve patients’ engagement and standardized patients’ awareness about chronic diseases including CHF.
After the implementation of the system, the hospital noticed a sharp decline in the readmission rate due to heart failure. Also, the system helped in improving the HCAHPS scores for patients receiving the CHF education plan.
5 Best Telemedicine Examples for Patients
Moving on from telemedicine examples for hospitals, clinics, and healthcare institutions, let’s take a look at some of the telemedicine examples for patients to see how the technology is enabling patients to access high-quality healthcare services.
1) Increasing the Life Expectancy of Inuit People
Inuit people who are indigenous people of Canada have an 11 years shorter life expectancy than the national average. Among the other socio-economic factors that contribute to the shorter life expectancy, lack of quality health care services due to the remoteness of areas and the small dispersed population is a major reason. Generally, the remote northern communities in Canada rely on nurses for healthcare services. While qualified doctors and physicians also visit the regional health centres occasionally, the lack of transportation and remoteness of the area makes it harder for quick and timely access to qualified doctors and physicians.
One of the bright examples of telemedicine is implemented in the region by Eichhorn, InTouch Health that relies on technology to provide quick access to qualified physicians and doctors for Intuit people living in the Arctic. The telemedicine has proven as a life-changing technology for the Intuit People living in the vast northern wilderness of Canada, allowing them to get qualified healthcare services even at the remotest places.
2) Telemedicine as an Alternative to Dog Sleds
Alaska, United States faces the same problems as northern Canada, where there is vast frozen wilderness with a small dispersed population, and thus a very grim healthcare network. Many small villages in the interiors of Alaska don’t even have access to qualified nurses, and in any case of a medical emergency, the patient has to be taken to hospital on the sled, which could take from hours to days and even weeks.
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium has remained one of the prime examples of telemedicine for over two decades. The program enables telemedicine consultations for remote communities with qualified doctors and physicians sitting in urban centres, thus acting as an alternative to dog sleds.
3) Telemedicine Instead of Boats in Vanuatu
Vanuatu is a small island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. Any medical emergency on the island means that the patient has to be carried by boat to the main healthcare facility, which can take anywhere about 4 to 6 hours.
The arrival of broadband internet opened the opportunity for telemedicine to make up for the lack of healthcare services on the island. Today, as a telemedicine example, the government is supporting a network of doctors and physicians to connect remotely with the patients living on the island. The program also aims to build the capacity of local nurses by giving them learning opportunities through telemedicine consultations.
4) Telemedicine for The Havasupai Tribe
The Havasupai Tribe is one of the remotest tribes in the United States that lives at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. This extremely isolated location of the tribe is only accessible on horseback, helicopter, or 8-mile hike. To make it even worse, the nearest town to the tribe is over 60 miles away. Presently, there are 367 people of the Havasupai Tribe living in their tribal land, which makes it necessary to offer them efficient healthcare services.
The tribe has recently secured the 30MB internet connection to support education and telemedicine services, which will greatly help in providing the indigenous people of the United States with much needed qualified healthcare services.
5) Handling Medical Emergencies on Ships
According to one study, one in five commercial ships are forced to change routes due to medical emergencies, which cost the sector a whopping $168 million annually. According to the same study, by implementing telemedicine equipment on-board, the crew member won’t just add to the safety of the passengers but also save many costs that are wasted due to medical emergencies related to route diversions on commercial ships.
What are Three Different Types of Telemedicine?
The three major types of telemedicine include:
- Store-and-Forward Telemedicine
- Remote Monitoring
- Real-Time Interactive Services
Does HIPAA Compliance Is Necessary for Telemedicine
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a United States Legislation related to the data privacy and security of medical information. The HIPPA is meant to minimize fraud and abuse in the healthcare industry by standardizing electronic records storage and processing.
While HIPAA compliance for video conferencing software isn’t an obligation for all telemedicine software, however, it is recommended to always choose a HIPAA compliant telemedicine software to ensure the safety and privacy of secret medical history.
Telemedicine brings a myriad of benefits for healthcare practitioners, as well as, for patients. Some of the telemedicine benefits include:
- Reduced no-show margin
- Higher Returns
- Flexible Hours
- Increased Efficiency in Diagnosis
- Improved Workflow Management
- Minimized Risk to Doctors
Cliniclive – Telemedicine App Example (Free Trial/Demo Is Available)
Cliniclive is one of the best telemedicine examples, which is meant to connect healthcare practitioners with remote patients seamlessly in a cost-effective way. The software is designed to enable hospitals and practitioners to get easy access and branding options for their practice, which also includes various powerful features and tools for patients.
Minneapolis-based Allina Health and Hayward (Wis.)
AdventHealth Dade City (Fla.)
St. Louis-based SSM Health
Hazard, Ky.-based Appalachian Regional Healthcare System
Ochsner LSU Health Monroe (La.)
Texas A&M University Health Science Center
Shriners Hospitals for Children
Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health
Ft. Myers, Fla.-based Lee Health
Charleston-based Medical University of South Carolina
Bangor, Maine-based St. Joseph Healthcare
Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
While telemedicine is more specifically related to the remote clinical services, telehealth is broader in terms of the scope which include different remote healthcare services including the telemedicine