e-Health: The Changing Face of Healthcare

Sameer Bhat, Vice President & Co-Owner, eClinicalWorks | Monday, 19 June 2017, 06:46 IST

The World Health Or­ganization (WHO) defines Telehealth as - The delivery of healthcare services, where distance is a critical factor, by all healthcare professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid informa­tion for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation and for the continuing education of healthcare providers, all in the interests of ad­vancing the health of individuals and their communities.

The booming Indian healthcare sector is facing enormous chal­lenges. Task-shifting, with para­medics taking a greater responsi­bility of care, is growing but this often needs to be supplemented with doctors’ opinions. Telehealth has evolved over the last decade as a solution providing distance support to healthcare workers at scale, which is particularly popular with individuals living in rural ar­eas. Technology solutions can also serve to support monitoring and data management which are also major challenges in today’s health­care systems. Most innovations are currently found in the private sec­tor and it is important to establish a discussion on how telehealth can be integrated with the public health­care system to address the challeng­es in primary care.

“Public health is an emerging field where medical informatics is now delivered through a variety of devices and enhanced through the Internet”

Public health is an emerging field where medical informatics is now delivered through a variety of devices and enhanced through the Internet. There are various forms of e-health, such as electronic health records, virtual health care teams, e-Prescribing, m-health, telehealth, tele-medicine, medical research using grids and healthcare information systems and consum­er health informatics. Overall the industry is growing; in turn addi­tional challenges are faced in health care research.

eClinicalWorks is developing a tele­health suite to fully support healthcare delivery across care modalities to expand the patients’ access to care. With tele­health, the delivery of care is expanded to convenient real-time interactions to patients who are unable to travel to the office. Physicians can remotely deliver quality of care with the same clinical tools that are vital in traditional office encoun­ters. Fully integrated into the workflow and schedule, the telehealth information is directly imported into the EHR, be­coming part of the patient’s complete medical record.

eClinicalWorks 10e,a new cloud ser­vice platform integrates EHR, popula­tion health, and patient engagement into a single unified user platform. Specifical­ly, the platform integrates telehealth vis­its directly from within the EHR. Tele­medicine enables providers to maintain a continuous medical record, consisting of in-office and telemedicine encounters. The technology delivers the same quality care online as we do in the office. Work­flows are unaffected, with access to all the same powerful tools, like lab interfacing and electronic prescribing. Intelligent bandwidth management provides a sta­ble and secure connection, optimized to prevent skip, lag, or loss of audio quality.

Patient engagement is the most nec­essary component to care delivery, spe­cifically to the future of healthcare Inte­grating telehealth visits from within the EHR. This will expand patients’ access to care and ease their convenience.