Waiting to see a doctor can be uncomfortable at best, but what if I told you that visit you’ve been waiting for, may not even be needed? Most experts and doctors agree that more than 10 percent of their medical office visits are actually unnecessary. It turns out that our traditional model of healthcare, structured around episodes, is not only inefficient, but it’s based upon outdated technologies. But today, we have a flood of new technologies that hold great promise for keeping us well at home and out of the doctor’s office altogether. For questions, please give us a call today!
By some accounts, we waste over $600 million a year in paying for unnecessary doctor’s visits. This figure has caught the eye of payers who are now strategizing to cut costs. The biggest healthcare payer, our government by way of Medicare, has decided physicians will soon be paid for the quality of the care they deliver more so than the number of visits they provide. The incentives are finally falling into place for doctors to keep you well and out of the office. With this in clear sight, a whole industry broadly labeled telehealth has been blossoming to meet demands.
Research Finds Americans Are Using Some Sort Of Electronic Device For Medical Purposes
According to Pew Foundation researchers, 21 percent of Americans already are tracking their health on some kind of an electronic device. There are now over 100,000 apps listed on the mHealth sections of the major platform operators: Apple and Android. Although there is great excitement this technology will help us better control chronic medical conditions, questions remain on just how your doctors will access and use all this patient-generated data in real-life clinical settings.
In my 20 years of practice, I have seen the medical office transition from paper to electronic medical records. Now we have tools that are literally transforming the doctor-patient relationship. For some patients, it’s like having your doctor not only in your home but also in your pocket. We now have to demonstrate this technology is easy to use and is really capable of improving the quality of medical care we deliver.
Peak Health Group Providing Telehealth In Coronado
Our Peak Health Group team is among the first to use patient-generated health data in a real-world clinical setting. We are now actually managing certain medical conditions between office visits. Enrolled patients take-home devices that capture specific health data needed to keep them well. The data is processed and analyzed for trends and then uploaded to a secure location on the web where my staff and I can access them and make clinical decisions often without a face-to-face encounter. Some conditions that lend themselves particularly well to this approach include heart failure, hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, COPD and post-operative recovery.
Even when you must go into the doctor’s office, telehealth monitoring can still help your doctor improve the quality of clinical decision-making. Traditionally doctors rely on history and your physical state at the time of the visit to deduce what’s been happening to you. But that’s a bit like trying to understand what exactly happened on your recent vacation by talking to you and looking at a photograph taken after your return. The clinical data stream from telehealth monitoring is more like watching a video captured while you were on your trip. More accurate historic health information available at the time of visit means higher quality clinical decisions can be made.
Patient satisfaction and usability of this technology are remarkably high. Even my non-technical senior patients use and appreciate the platform. Just knowing the doctor is monitoring provides peace of mind not only for patients but also for their family members often living far away. My patients who use this are now much more engaged in their own medical care. As expected, we have also had fewer hospitalizations and doctor’s office visits among them. Since implementing this system, I rarely find myself admitting patients to the hospital anymore.
Contact Peak Health Group Today!
Here ay Peak Health Group in Coronado our experience with telehealth monitoring seems to be in alignment with other teams demonstrating such projects throughout the country. Don’t be surprised if, in the not-too-distant future, biometric sensors show up in your jewelry, clothes, automobiles, home furnishings and appliances. They’ll connect you seamlessly to your healthcare team capturing important health data as you continue to live your life to the fullest. And don’t be surprised to receive a text message from your doctor asking you to take some action to prevent a problem before you even know you’re going to have it.
Patrick Yassini, MD, is board-certified in family medicine, integrative and holistic medicine and is fellowship-trained in metabolic medicine, anti-aging, and regenerative medicine. He has practiced in Coronado since 2000 and is the medical director at Peak Health Group, 131 Orange Avenue in Coronado; the office number is (619) 522-4005.