Last week, we learned that Prince accidentally took a lethal dose of fentanyl, a strong synthetic opioid analgesic. Prince’s death is a well-publicized microcosm of a larger epidemic. In a 2015 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC reported more overdose deaths in 2014 than any prior year, with 60 percent of those deaths attributable to an opioid.1 The public health community continues to respond with PSAs and programs to prevent and treat addiction and abuse. Yet, treatment is not always convenient for patients needing a more-present medical touch. Telemedicine bridges the convenience gap, AND adds a personal touch to treatment that “brings” the provider to the patient’s home.
At CareClix, we understand the need to bring care to patients and create an easy dialogue between patient and provider. Our provider group is trained to work with behavioral health issues, including alcohol and other drug dependence disorders. We pride ourselves on our providers staying knowledgeable on trends in population health and collaborating with our larger network to discover best practices in treatment.
As telemedicine continues to grow as a more convenient care setting, it is vital to align our treatment protocols with current evidence. With behavioral health, we are seeing more and more studies conclude that telemedicine is just as effective if not better for patient outcomes than traditional in-person treatment. In a study done by the Veterans Healthcare Administration over fiscal year 2012, they found that both patients and providers felt more comfortable interacting live via video.2 Stakeholders and organizations are paying attention to the evidence supporting telemedicine and its growing utilization as an effective care setting. Quality measurement organizations are starting to include telemedicine codes in their patient outcome and process measures.3 Providers and payers will begin reporting data on the quality of care delivered for patients using telemedicine. Employers and workplace health vendors are exploring ways to incorporate telemedicine in employees’ benefits packages, with the understanding that telemedicine will help improve productivity and prevent avoidable hospitalizations and office visits.
Beyond aligning our treatment protocols with evidence, we also provide consulting services to support our partners as they build their platforms to fit their needs. Whether it’s a school district seeking telemedicine services to monitor kids with behavioral health disorders at home, or working with workplace clinics to help employees and lower absenteeism, CareClix is a total solution that will customize a platform that fits your telemedicine strategy.
“A Comparison of Mental Health Diagnoses Treated via Interactive Video and Face to Face in the Veterans Healthcare Administration.” http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/tmj.2014.0152 ↩
Thanks to Jeremy Gottlich for his support in writing this blog post.