There is a common misconception, often driven by financial perspectives, that if a healthcare provider or employer can just figure out the right mix, the high-risk patient costs can be controlled or avoided. The fact is, population health management requires an ongoing commitment. And that ongoing approach has to depend on and work with the right infrastructure to make sound decisions and provide quality treatment that works. That’s not possible with bad or missing measurement data. Fortunately, this is where modern telehealth capabilities fill the risk and gap.
Three aspects of any healthcare delivery system have to be met competently for the system to work right. It needs to be sure and not lose any of the data collected. It needs to be a technology that can be understood and afforded financially. And the system needs to allow the ability for medical professionals to do their jobs and make the right decisions without interference. When these three elements are in place correctly, telehealth can delivery population health management that boosts prevent and lowers overall treatment costs over time.
However, like many areas of change, telehealth migration has to be wholeheartedly supported to work well. Per system implementation expert Jack Plotkin, As with any major change management approach, resistance will spring up simply because old processes are known and familiar versus unknown new technology. If an organization’s leadership won’t engage at a technical level, telehealth’s benefits won’t manifest uniformly for the best results. And this is the challenge that continues to occur; many can see the promise in what telehealth can provide for population management, but the results aren’t realized yet because of the missing program top-down support.