Four Ways Technology Can Relieve Care Teams and Support Patients

Like most of us, when I look back at the last 18 months, there are plenty of experiences I would not want to relive. I remember 12 and 14-hour days, when I worked as hard as I have ever worked. Otherwise, the task at hand just wouldn’t have gotten done. Even just thinking back on it, that stress is still present.

As often happens in healthcare, I learned valuable lessons through the struggle. One of the main lessons learned is that technology can help meet enormous needs.


OPPORTUNITIES TO RELIEVE CARE TEAMS

The current iteration of the pandemic is marked by a crushing burden on healthcare teams. The great need is immediate, and experience tells me virtual care can reduce the burden.

Well-designed technology can foster a sustainable workflow even when a team loses members to illness and overwhelm. Virtually-delivered education can drastically decrease unnecessary phone calls to the clinic. And the intentional choice of a well-chosen provider to triage patients can start the whole thing off on the right foot.

In sum, technology can allow overloaded care teams to provide the right care at the right time to patients.


ACCESS TO CARE

A person cannot look closely at virtual healthcare without giving props to how it has increased access to healthcare. As leaders and organizations join the mission to increase broadband and hardware, my confidence swells that such gains will continue. Besides the ability to remotely monitor patients, I am hopeful to see technology reduce gaps related to health inequity.


THE POWER OF CONNECTED CARE

The patient/care team connection is a two-sided one. “Empowerment” is not too strong a word to depict how both sides can actively share and ask about matters of concern. Besides the peace of mind this offers patients, care teams can constantly monitor and adjust the prescribed care. This will lead to better outcomes and timelier intervention when necessary.


LOWER COSTS

Healthcare costs are undeniably high. Virtual care will improve outcomes, and improved outcomes are the clearest way to cut costs. I predict health systems will increasingly welcome virtual care because of its cost-cutting potential.

How have you seen virtual care help patients or support care teams? What challenges or benefits has virtual care brought?

Shana Kettunen, MBA (Chief Operating Officer of Strive MedTech) has over 15 years of diverse healthcare experience and enjoys bringing together multifaceted teams to change the way healthcare is delivered. Shana began clinically as a sonographer before developing as a leader in business development/telemedicine and finally joining Strive MedTech. When the pandemic hit, she was Director of Telemedicine for a health system and navigated the rapid expansion of virtual care to include almost every service line.


Shana Kettunen, MBA (Chief Operating Officer of Strive MedTech) has over 15 years of diverse healthcare experience and enjoys bringing together multifaceted teams to change the way healthcare is delivered. Shana began clinically as a sonographer before developing as a leader in business development/telemedicine and finally joining Strive MedTech. When the pandemic hit, she was Director of Telemedicine for a health system and navigated the rapid expansion of virtual care to include almost every service line.