DispatchHealth: Filling the Gaps of Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic

medical team outside of home

If we’ve learned anything during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s how to adjust to the new challenge of providing essential services without endangering high-risk individuals or those essential workers. In the healthcare industry, the winning solution by far has been telehealth or telemedicine. And while this service is a show of medical advances beyond our wildest dreams, helping those with ailments obtain a convenient virtual diagnosis without leaving their homes, it’s not without its limitations. That’s where DispatchHealth can help. Our house call service offers the same convenience of telemedicine but specializes in supplying acute medical treatment for those situations that require or would benefit from in-person consultation and medical assistance. 

In this article, we’ll further explore how our house calls complement telemedicine by filling in the gaps of virtual medical services—offering you the information needed to confidently direct patients to the best healthcare service for their specific needs.

What Is Telemedicine?

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) defines telehealth as the use of telecommunications technologies to support clinical healthcare, public health, and health administration. In layman’s terms, telemedicine refers to remote clinical services that offer a convenient alternative to facility-based healthcare via video chat, private chat rooms, and other telecommunication technologies. This variation of healthcare has become a staple during the pandemic, helping those with mild or minor medical concerns receive the prompt care that they need without exposure to shared, public spaces or germ-infested waiting rooms. 

The Perks & Challenges of Telemedicine

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the switch to virtual healthcare by telephone or video chat has played a pivotal role in the way medical care is delivered. And why wouldn’t it? It’s convenient for both doctors and patients alike; not to mention, it’s a great precaution against the spread of COVID-19. But this healthcare service, as advanced as it is, can also be somewhat limited—especially for those tens of millions of Americans without smartphones, high-speed internet, or knowledge of how to operate telecommunication technologies. This digital divide is even more prevalent in geriatric healthcare, where the patient can have difficulty understanding how to operate video conferences and explaining their condition over the phone. Since those at higher risk of contracting coronavirus tend to be seniors over the age of 65, having an in-person alternative to telemedicine that can still offer the advantages of at-home care is necessary. Who better to fill that gap than DispatchHealth? 

When Is a House Call More Appropriate?

In certain situations, telemedicine may not be the best option for medical care, and that’s not to put down the service in any way, shape, or form. The gaps in telemedicine can be filled by DispatchHealth’s contemporary twist on traditional house call services, where patients can still benefit from prompt medical care in the comfort of their homes. In addition to offering the same level of convenience as telemedicine to those without access to or understanding of telecommunication technologies, house calls are also a more appropriate means of medical care for the following situations:

  • Higher-acuity healthcare needs. DispatchHealth’s house calls can improve patient outcomes in higher-acuity situations that may require hands-on care to ensure timely treatment.
  • Medical care for those individuals who also have a chronic mental health condition. Social anxieties, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other chronic mental health conditions can create communication barriers in a virtual setting, making house calls the better option for prompt diagnosis and treatment. 
  • Pediatric and geriatric medical care. High-touch, in-person care for pediatric and geriatric medical needs can help ensure diagnosis accuracy, as children and seniors often have difficulty voicing and explaining their medical situations.

DispatchHealth’s Complementary Telehealth Care

New frontier value-based healthcare is the foundation of DispatchHealth’s dynamic at-home service, where our teams of medical professionals can address a wide range of minor to acute healthcare needs without sacrificing in-person interactions. This “art of medicine,” which supports establishing a sense of human contact and social interaction in the medical field, has its own unique healing properties. Our hands-on processes are augmented by these industry-best physician practices that hold patients’ mental and physical wellbeing at the very top of care.

DispatchHealth team in PPE at home

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this paradigm of medical care has helped DispatchHealth become one of the most dependable house call services for acute medical conditions. We’ve further adjusted our hands-on service during the pandemic to ensure safe care and treatment for both our teams and patients alike, implementing safety practices and providing protective gear to our medical teams. Requesting care is as easy as contacting us via phone, mobile app, or through our website. Within a few hours of contact, one of our dispatched teams will arrive at your place of need with most of the equipment and technologies found at an ER. 

Curious to hear what we have in the works? DispatchHealth is testing telepresentation to rollout nation-wide. Expect some exciting announcements coming soon!

To learn more about how DispatchHealth is responding to coronavirus (COVID-19), follow this link or feel free to reach out to us with your questions.

Sources

DispatchHealth relies only on authoritative sources, including medical associations, research institutions, and peer-reviewed medical studies. 

Sources referenced in this article: 

  1. https://www.healthit.gov/topic/health-it-initiatives/telemedicine-and-telehealth
  2. https://www.wired.com/story/health-care-online-patients-left-behind/

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