It is sometimes said that history is defined as those special moments when people of the world suddenly realize that the way their lives have been is in some essential way changed from how their lives will be. These moments may come from great sadness like the tragedy of September 11, when the role of cell phones in reaching out to love ones became suddenly clear. The corona pandemic of 2020 is such a defining moment because Americans and the world at large will discover they think of Telehealth differently than they did previously. Whereas Telehealth may have been considered an occasional convenience, or a slightly quirky way to treat unknown patients at far-away distances, Telehealth has during the pandemic, offered a safe way to diagnose and help our fellow world citizens, and perhaps prevent and protect those dear to us. Potential Telehealth devices are not limited to strange bulky machines that sometimes give off alarming sounds. Telehealth devices have been cozying up to us for years- such as the telephone, the tablet, and the ever-popular television. Our familiarity with them reduces the stress when a practicing Telehealth professional contacts us for a daily checkup, to encourage good nutrition, or to personally advise of a test result. All these professional Telehealth services can now take place in the comfort of our own homes. The pandemic of 2020 is a defining moment because it illustrates the advantages of the Interprofessional Telehealth Mobilization Team (ITMT) which combines technology, health care professionals and lean quality management. The ITMT provides care to consumers in the comfort of their homes after first conferring by phone and completing an assessment questionnaire via a tablet, mobile phone or personal computer (PC). Next the ITMT triage the calls to a Tele-medical provider, Tele-social worker or Tele-pharmacist. This cycle illustrates how telehealth provides comprehensive medical services to consumers without requiring them to leave their homes. Finally, after the pandemic abates, all of us will have stories to tell and lessons to impart during which Telehealth is a newly familiar partner.
Stay tuned to this E-news for more stories and lessons learned on Telehealth successes.
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Dr. Clishia Taylor DMIN, MBA, RN, ICTTP – Director of GHA Institute
To learn more about bcome a certified telemedicine/telehealth professional visit https://www.ghainstitute.com/