As the global public health crisis that is COVID-19 continues to unfold, organizations around the world are scrambling to address the various serious problems that are arising. There are lockdowns, business closures, overwhelmed healthcare systems, and many people either battling the respiratory infection or doing their part to contain its spread. Amidst the chaos, medical providers are working endlessly to care for the sick with fewer and fewer resources available, including their spread-thin human resources. Healthcare tech is more important now than ever, not just in the race to develop a cure or vaccine, but to support health care providers with protecting the population. Today, let’s look at how one area of healthcare tech is aiding the fight against COVID-19’s spread: telehealth.
Telehealth is being used to address a portion of the many issues COVID-19 has caused globally, but it’s a vital mission nonetheless. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are overwhelmed with the number of new cases and patients they see every day. Most of the population are following CDC recommended guidelines for mitigating the spread of the virus, such as proper handwashing and practicing social distancing. Still, cases inevitably come up and rightfully concerned people are looking to seek answers and medical attention — attention that continues to wear thin — from doctors and nurses. Hospitals are admitting patients deemed most vulnerable to the infection, and are sending others home to self-isolate and quarantine.
Why Telehealth Can Help
The nature of telehealth healthcare tech supports secure health-related communication and delivery of remote care. Relying on telehealth can let healthcare providers safely interact with more patients on a virtual platform, rather than risk more exposure by seeing multiple patients in a medical office. Virtual consultations can let providers determine if a patient’s case is severe enough to warrant an in-person examination or to order further tests, thus helping to alleviate some of the demand on strained hospital resources at the moment. Telehealth and telemedicine also help keep the public informed and up to date on the latest information to let patients protect themselves. Further, this healthcare tech can help reach the most vulnerable populations, such as the elderly or those with underlying health conditions, and reduces the need for these people to risk dangerous exposure by going to their doctor.
Recent Notification from OCR
It’s worth noting that The Office for Civil Rights from the Department of Health and Human Services has issued some temporary changes as we face this national health emergency. HIPAA regulations are upheld but with minor amendments. The OCR will review cases of healthcare providers using non-public facing communication technologies to deliver telehealth consultation in good faith during this crisis. They look to not impose penalties for noncompliance during this period.
Healthcare IT Services and Solutions from Audley Consulting Group
The experts at Audley Consulting Group dedicate their passion and work to providing exceptional healthcare-centered IT services to our clients. Our consultants uncover your business needs to tailor an effective information technology solution that is unique to your situation. We proudly serve public and private sector clients in the Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia areas, and beyond. Audley Consulting group has delivered value-added IT services to businesses and government agencies. We can show how our healthcare IT services can benefit you too. To get started, call us at 301-770-6464, or visit our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.