Online, House Call, and Other Services

Online, House Call, and Other Services

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6355-8.ch008
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Abstract

This chapter focuses on new healthcare services provided online, in the patient home, and elsewhere. Under the umbrella of telehealth, there are three key modes of delivery. First, real time (synchronous) delivery requires a live telecommunication connection and uses phones, video conferencing, and chat sessions. Second, “store & forward” (asynchronous) delivery captures digital media and transmits to it to providers via images, video, audio, x-rays, etc. Third, remote monitoring (synchronous or not) is a combination of real-time and store and forward and it uses connected devices. The author highlights the example of several online care companies such as Hello Health, virtuwell, Zipnosis, and American Well. House call services by nurse practitioners are on the rise again. The author focuses on the example of WhiteGlove, a service that offers access to nurse practitioner care at home or at the office seven days a week. They conclude that many patient visits to the hospital emergency rooms and to primary care physician offices are unnecessary and can be taken care of in a much cheaper and more convenient way through online interactions and house visits.
Chapter Preview

From the halls of the White House to exam rooms around the country, most Americans now realize that their healthcare system is inexorably changing. Rules, processes, and terminology are all in flux. But what will not change, no matter what the acronym of the moment, is the core connection between doctors and the patients they care for. It is for this reason that telehealth – which now uses ubiquitous technologies to facilitate this simple connection – is moving to the fore of physician practices. Telehealth is already breaking down barriers to needed care, while enabling providers to practice in a flexible, convenient manner – generating revenue along the way.Online Care, 2012

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1. Online Services

Many patient visits to the hospital emergency rooms and to primary care physician offices are unnecessary and can be taken care of in a much cheaper and more convenient way through online interactions and other technology-enabled visits. This section provides a brief background on telemedicine/telehealth and describes some of the online services that have emerged in the last few years.

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