The healthcare landscape is changing rapidly, and it’s changing at its core. Beyond the questions of billing practices and evolving national insurance programs, there’s a paradigm shift in patient-centered care.
Healthcare providers are facing unprecedented challenges of caring for an aging population. The baby boomer generation is entering old age, and they are requiring extensive, ongoing care for chronic health conditions. The population will continue to age faster than ever before and by 2030, there will be 34 countries with 20% of their populations over age 65.This larger contingent of elderly patients means even more heightened attention to the chronic conditions that often coincide with aging.
On one hand, the glass is half-full: Years ago patients and practitioners might not have been able to successfully manage conditions such as hypertension for years without acute cardiac events occurring as they can today. On the other hand, the glass is half-empty: More people require more care for longer periods of time because they are living longer. Conditions such as diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity and hypertension demand meticulous attention – and effective patient education.
Collaborative video technology, including recording, streaming, and video content management (VCM), can give healthcare organizations a clear advantage in addressing these major modern healthcare issues. It gives providers the two things they need most: a way to work together with patients and colleagues across locations and time zones and the tools necessary to make this collaboration scalable.
Patient Education through On-Demand Video Content
Patients continuously search for answers to their medical questions, and they often want to proactively engage in their own care. If they can learn about their medical conditions and their proper management through their home or mobile devices, they can avoid trips to the hospital while remaining fully active in their treatment, leading to better outcomes. When healthcare providers establish connections to their patients through video portals with rich media content, they can deliver “how-to” tutorials and instructional materials. For instance, doctors could create content on testing blood sugar levels at home and share it with their diabetes patients via video collaboration technology. The doctors and patients are then communicating at their convenience—the patients can watch the video at any time—but in a way that maintains presence in between real-time visits.
In addition to these advantages, collaborative technology helps connect patients living in rural areas to their providers in urban centers; fosters easy links between community health centers, public health departments, universities and hospitals to facilitate coordinated care; and improves hospital administration. Meetings between people working at multiple locations can take place without anyone having to travel, while preserving the same level of open dialogue and interaction as in-person gatherings.