By Jason Thorsby (*Sponsored Content)
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020, it accelerated the demand and adoption of telehealth services. Overnight healthcare providers had to adopt safe and effective methods of providing care without compromising quality. As the necessity for virtual healthcare grew, healthcare providers turned to telehealth to provide patient care.
Now, this practice has the potential to become a mainstay in how Canadians are cared for. Telehealth brings with it important considerations to ensure that patients are getting what they need from the experience – one that is secure, simple and inclusive.
Privacy at the core
Privacy is at the heart of patient experience. The healthcare space has experienced countless cyberattacks over the course of the pandemic which has brought about the need for health care providers to adopt telehealth tools that prioritize privacy and are built with security in mind. For example, with Webex Instant Connect’s unique single use links, patients can rest assured that their appointments are private and protected. Additionally, Webex Instant Connect does not collect any patient health information or personal identifiable information, further protecting sensitive data. By providing a secure and transparent channel for patients and physicians to connect, healthcare providers are able to build trust and create a better experience overall.
Creating consumer experiences
In addition to privacy, patients are driving the demand for better experiences. In a culture where access to just about everything has become instantaneous, patients are looking for the same ease, convenience and simplicity in their health care experience. In fact, 70% of patients say that scheduling ease is an important factor in their care experience. As a browser based product, free of plugins and downloads, Cisco’s Webex Instant connect makes it easy for patients to connect with their doctors.
From the provider’s perspective, there is value in physically seeing your patient, especially if we consider that 60 per cent of human communication is non-verbal. Webex Instant Connect’s video capabilities equips providers with the tools they need to pick up on non-verbal cues and get the full picture to provide an appropriate diagnosis.
Healthcare that’s inclusive for all
Over the last two years, we have all experienced the isolating effects of the pandemic. This was especially felt by those admitted to the hospital or those living in long term care homes. Cisco’s Webex video capabilities allow those individuals to virtually connect with their loved ones, helping them feel a sense of normalcy and included in their communities.
Moreover, leveraging technology in the healthcare system through services like telehealth creates a more accessible and equitable healthcare system for all, no matter the geographical location. In northern communities telehealth is at times a necessity and has the power to improve quality of care. With a click of a button Canadians in both rural and urban communities can have equal access to health care experts, standardizing the quality of care nationwide.
While telehealth breaks down some accessibility barriers, there is more that can be done. For truly inclusive healthcare access, socio-demographic factors such as tech literacy, education, age, and access to stable internet connectivity need to be considered as telehealth continues to evolve.
While there will always be value in in-person healthcare, technology has the power to be an equalizer. Over the past two years, we have seen how the simplicity of telehealth services have improved the healthcare experience for patients and providers alike. It is through combining the benefits of both in-person health services and virtual ones that we will be able to create a more equitable and accessible health care system for all.
Read more about Cisco’s Webex Instant connect and how you can keep your patients protected here.