Telehealth brings big advantages for older adults, but new ‘guard rails’ could significantly bolster care

Phrase-cloud of contributors’ one-word descriptions of telemedicine major care. Credit score: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2022). DOI: 10.1111/jgs.18035

At present’s telemedicine suppliers are solely scratching the floor of what is attainable in offering high-quality well being care to individuals who want it most—and particularly to older adults who profit vastly from its accessibility, in keeping with researchers and medical specialists from West Well being.

The answer, they are saying, is for telemedicine suppliers to set the bar larger by following pointers that guarantee distant care is delivered in one of the simplest ways attainable to seniors.

“The COVID-19 pandemic delivered to mild the immense worth of telemedicine to remotely join sufferers and medical doctors for a variety of well being care wants,” says Liane Wardlow, Ph.D., senior director of Medical Analysis and Telehealth at West Well being. “However when treating older sufferers, we see that telemedicine falls quick in lots of vital methods. The issue is that distant well being care supply merely wasn’t designed with the wants of older individuals in thoughts.”

In an editorial printed within the newest subject of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Wardlow and West Well being’s Chief Medical Officer Zia Agha, M.D.—together with their collaborators from College of North Carolina and College of Pittsburgh—provide commentary round a brand new peer-reviewed report exhibiting that people who find themselves 65 and older respect telemedicine’s comfort and wish it to stay accessible however have had irritating technical challenges and different points that hindered their expertise.

“The pandemic has taught us that our well being care system is weak and must undertake capabilities like telehealth so as to ship protected and efficient care sooner or later,” the authors write.

To resolve the issues which are holding again telemedicine, they argue a framework is required to make sure suppliers can provide care that meets three key necessities.

First, telehealth should be person-centered to allow visits the place sufferers really feel related and heard. It additionally should be equitable and accessible to individuals of all backgrounds, in addition to to these with attainable cognitive impairment and people dwelling in areas the place fast Web entry is not a given. Lastly, telemedicine should be built-in and coordinated with sufferers’ general care plans; suppliers also needs to perceive the affected person’s social help construction and talent to acquire prescribed medicines.

“With out these guard rails, telehealth might additional section care, thereby growing the probabilities of low-value care whereas additional exacerbating well being inequities,” the authors write. “With these guardrails in place, nonetheless, telehealth has the potential to understand its promise of enhancing entry to high-value, equitable, protected, well timed and handy care to older adults.”

As well as, they are saying it is crucial that suppliers are skilled in abilities distinctive to providing distant care to older adults: “Just because a supplier is well-trained in supplying in-person care doesn’t imply that the identical supplier is able to offering top quality care utilizing telehealth,” they are saying.

The authors are amongst key drivers within the creation of a nationwide Heart of Excellence for Telehealth and Getting older, which is growing first-ever trade pointers for age-inclusive telehealth.

Extra data:
Kevin Biese et al, Telehealth with older adults: Getting it proper, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2022). DOI: 10.1111/jgs.18090

Roma Bhatia et al, Older adults’ views on major care telemedicine through the COVID ‐19 pandemic, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2022). DOI: 10.1111/jgs.18035

Supplied by
West Well being Institute

Telehealth brings large benefits for older adults, however new ‘guard rails’ might considerably bolster care (2022, November 7)
retrieved 7 November 2022

This doc is topic to copyright. Other than any truthful dealing for the aim of personal research or analysis, no
half could also be reproduced with out the written permission. The content material is offered for data functions solely.

Categorized as News

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *