As we enter hurricane season, it’s worth pondering what role telehealth can play in disaster recovery. We’ve already seen some success stories, but as access to virtual care grows, so too does the opportunity to help communities ravaged by fires, earthquakes, and storms.
It feels like a bit of a no-brainer: telehealth in nursing and assisted-living homes. Very few of these care facilities staff a full-time doctor, which means when a patient becomes ill, they are likely sent to the emergency room. Instead of exposing them to the germs and potential safety issues (not to mention the costs) associated with an ambulance ride to the ED, staff could help them get care virtually. So why hasn’t the idea taken off?
The high cost of delivering healthcare can have devastating effects on systems and patients alike. That issue is exacerbated when players with little experience in healthcare rush in to “rescue” ailing providers. The aftermath can create healthcare deserts in formerly healthy communities.