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Telehealth’s quick expansion and success during Covid-19

healthcare remote work telemedicine

The seismic shift to remote work touched companies around the globe; every industry, every region. What was once a luxury, recruiting tool and competitive advantage suddenly became the new reality. 

But not all companies were left scrambling. Many businesses, including those in healthcare, had already begun their workplace and digital transformation for the future of work, and the crisis only accelerated those plans.  

As first reported by itbusiness.ca, one of those companies to make a fairly smooth transition was North Carolina’s WakeMed Health and Hospitals, a not-for-profit institution that serves Raleigh and surrounding Wake County. Recently, WakeMed’s Peter Marks, vice-president and chief information officer, and CTO Traci Tyndall shared their journey during a virtual roundtable session at Cisco Live. 

Good relations with all their vendors allowed them to quickly ramp scale their telemedicine needs and over the course of a week they went from zero telehealth appointments to 2,500. They were able to ramp up the use of iPads so a team in the nurse’s station could talk with patients through video. This not only helped reduce the use of PPE, but it allowed confined patients to communicate and include family via video. 

They also used video conferencing not only for communicating with colleagues and patients, but it became the media senior management used to communicate with doctors, nurses, technicians and other staff.  

Marks admitted the shift wasn’t without challenges, adding times were occasionally “crazy,” but everyone rose to the challenge and they can see the future potential in telehealth. Indeed, in recent years telemedicine has been on the rise, yet in 2019 only 19% of consumers had access to telehealth services*. Now the door has been opened to create more processes to widely expand care to more patients.  

Read the full article at itbusiness.com 

*Source: Fairhealth Study 

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