Virtual care pathways are a telehealth management tool that providers can use to manage all aspects of a patient’s care remotely. These pathways help patients receive better treatment and allow providers to map out all components of the care delivery process. By following virtual care pathways, providers can address the most common challenges that patients face, and improve their health outcomes.
Why Virtual Care Pathways Are Important for Your Practice
Virtual care pathways enhance the ways healthcare providers are able to manage patient care processes, improving healthcare efficiency and patient outcomes. Virtual care pathways provide patients with a clear roadmap to follow, which can include information on what treatments are available, how to access them, and what to expect during each stage of treatment. They also allow family members, specialists, and other care circle participants to be involved in the treatment process from start to finish, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and collaborating to achieve better patient outcomes.
The use of virtual care pathways is growing in popularity as a way to improve healthcare results. In this blog, we’ll highlight how virtual care pathways differ from traditional care pathways, and how they are helping to improve patient outcomes with real-time access to specialists, reduced wait times, better patient engagement, and improved communication between care team members.
What Differentiates Virtual Care Pathways From Traditional Care Pathways?
Traditional Care Pathways
Traditional care pathways, much like many other traditional healthcare processes, mainly cater to in-person care. For most healthcare organizations, these pathways involve a plan for patient care that covers all bases; from setting goals and organizing communication and tasks with care circle members, to monitoring patient progress and documenting health outcomes. With these pathways, providers can review the results of their intervention methods, and continue using the same or similar processes when there is a pattern of improvement.
There are several ways healthcare organizations go about creating and implementing traditional care pathways for in-person care. Pathways can be created on platforms such as Excel, or other software specific to care pathways. This often requires providers to structure the pathway manually and may involve extended efforts to make sure nothing is left out, and that all members of the patient’s care circle are in agreement.
Virtual Care Pathways
While there is no denying traditional care pathways are an extremely useful tool when treating patients who require in-person care, there is a more inclusive, and flexible option available.
Virtual care pathways are not only able to meet all of the functionalities of traditional care pathways, but they can also enhance them to make the entire process more efficient and effective.
Telehealth platforms that offer virtual care pathways, such as aTouchAway are equipped with a variety of pathways that have already been structured and can help with treating and managing many common health conditions. Through these platforms, providers can easily input a patient’s health information and goals, add different members of the care circle to the platform, conduct video/ audio calls and send secure messages, and monitor and document patient progress.
How Virtual Care Pathways Improve Patient Outcomes
Virtual care pathways improve patient outcomes by providing consistent, high-quality treatment plans based on proven methods. When healthcare providers are able to better manage patients based on urgency and their specific needs, the entire care process becomes more effective and patients are able to meet their health goals. Furthermore, when patients are more involved in their healthcare journey, they become empowered, active participants in it. Through active involvement in the progress of their care pathway, patients learn and develop knowledge about their condition, which leads to fewer setbacks throughout their care journey.
Through virtual care pathways, providing a structured plan of care that can be tailored to each patient’s individual needs is simplified. They offer patients and their caregivers access to information and resources that support self-management of their condition and provide tools for monitoring progress and allowing timely follow-ups. This improved coordination of care among multiple providers allows healthcare professionals to take action as soon as a patient’s condition changes. By doing so, virtual care pathways encourage better care outcomes and help reduce the risk of hospital readmission.
Continuing to Provide The Best Possible Outcomes
Virtual care pathways have continued to prove their efficacy in providing superior patient outcomes. By leveraging technology, virtual care pathways can provide patients with real-time access to their care team, reduce wait times when seeking care, and allow for more patient involvement. Ultimately, virtual care pathways help to improve patient outcomes by providing the best possible care and treatment.
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