The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are urging hospitals and clinics to expand their use of digital, specifically telehealth, services to help triage the sick. Furthermore, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) legislation is waiving some of the restrictions for Medicare telehealth coverage in outbreak areas. Moving forward, both of these methods have the potential to reduce person-to-person infection risks and give healthcare professionals as many tools as possible in treating patients.
Digital, overall, has become critical to keeping those scared and panicked about COVID-19 out of over-crowded health facilities via telehealth tools.
This blog post explores five digital strategies that can be implemented by healthcare providers to offer a holistic, integrated approach outside of the traditional in-person clinical services being offered for testing and treatment of the Coronavirus.
- Increase the use of telehealth services, provider hotlines, and other remote patient monitoring tools to expand access to care and enable timely treatment while limiting the risk of spreading the virus
- If you are using a chatbot on the public-facing website, ensure it has information on the Coronavirus to aid quick delivery of information as the patient is seeking support
- Offer information on how prepared the healthcare system is at identifying, isolating and caring for patients with the Coronavirus. Ensure you cover how you are typically providing care for infected patients in isolation at the hospital as well as those who are isolated in-home or self-quarantined and need support. Highlight expertise in infectious disease with featured experts
- Provide educational content on how the Coronavirus differs from the flu, offer simple explanations as to what it is, FAQs, how to protect yourself, travel guidance, updates on the impact of the virus and treatments, etc. Offer this information across the website, mobile app, patient portal, SMS and email updates, as well as, across social media so patients and the community remain informed and up to date
- Link to support services/resources such as CDC, World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Department of State China Travel Advisory, etc. The CDC has several communication resources including information on clinical and home care guidance. The WHO has frequent situation reports and the latest travel advice amongst other key information
The above will offer a comprehensive approach in supporting, protecting and caring for patients and communities while the COVID-19 continues to be widespread across the country and globe. These steps will become key in helping to assist with the prevention of the virus and for containment.