Insights - Article

Telehealth in a Shifting Healthcare Environment

By Brian Roberts • May 3, 2016

Telehealth in a Shifting Healthcare Environment

As payment reforms continue to drive the healthcare market towards value-based care models, facilities must find ways to provide effective and quality care while still creating cost savings to maximize reimbursement. The use of telehealth services is only expected to expand in this shifting environment.

For hospitals, the right telehealth solution can reinforce the value-based business model and create the right financial incentives as well as physician and patient workflows to align the interests of both providers and patients. As one of the most integral branches of the health system, the pharmacy is a logical place to look to help hospitals reach these goals. There are many avenues in which telehealth can operate, but telepharmacy is one technology that can have a vast impact across the care continuum.

Telepharmacy offers remote clinical pharmacy services that allow for a cost-effective solution to balancing quality care and effective workflows that are required under new value-based care models. Such networks allow for pharmacists to get out of the pharmacy and spend time directly with care teams and patients to help optimize medication regimens and ensure total understanding of post-discharge recommendations.

Not only does this improve the workflow in facilities by freeing up time typically spent screening orders for example, but it also provides a higher quality of care for the patient and helps to improve overall health outcomes. Even further, telepharmacy provides smaller, rural facilities with limited resources the ability to cover their pharmacy with expert care as if there was an actual pharmacist on location.

Finding success in a value-based care model isn’t achieved with ease. However, acknowledging improvements that can be made in the care process and facility resources that may be hindering success is the first step. Making use of innovative technology, such as telehealth and telepharmacy, and implementing effective solutions to address these areas is an excellent way to supplement hospitals’ efforts during this healthcare shift.

Brian Roberts is the CEO and co-founder of PipelineRx. He has spent most of his career focused on healthcare services and staffing, including leadership roles at Canopy Healthcare, CHG Healthcare Services, as well as venture capital firms Acacia Venture Partners and Summit Partners.