4 Use Cases for TeleCounsel

Mitch Larson | April 11, 2019

In our first blog about TeleCounsel, we went over what TeleCounsel is and how it helps healthcare providers bridge the gap between them and their potential patients. This article looks to dive a little deeper and discuss the various use cases in which TeleCounsel might be implemented.

 Read on to learn how you can implement TeleCounsel for your practice!

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1. Discharge counseling

Initiatives like Meds to Beds are pushing to allow convenient medication dispensing to patients prior to discharge from the hospital. Meds to Beds programs provide an opportunity for pharmacists to ensure patients are leaving the hospital with their medications in hand and an understanding of how to take their medications correctly. Studies have shown readmission rates are reduced when a clinical pharmacist is involved in medication counseling prior to discharge.

In order for programs like Meds to Beds to be a broadly adopted practice, however, access to a pharmacist must be available to hospitals wishing to dispense medications. Not all hospitals have a pharmacist on-site, but with TeleCounsel, all hospitals can have access to a pharmacist virtually via the HIPAA-compliant video software.

 

2. Pharmacist-physician collaboration

When pharmacists and physicians work collaboratively, it has been shown to ensure better medication adherence and overall successful outcomes for patients. In this article from the American Pharmacists Association, it becomes clear that the hand-in-hand approach taken by collaborative care teams produces great results for patients. Here is an excerpt that discusses the positive outcomes one medical group has seen:

“Jamie Reedy, MD, MPH, chief of population health at Summit Medical Group, discussed the vital role pharmacists have in medication adherence best practices. She noted the importance of cost and patient access to medication, citing how pharmacist intervention at Summit was instrumental in improving quality metrics for diabetes and hypertension, medication reconciliation and adherence, and use of generics medications.”

Medication Therapy Management and other therapy methods require regular communication and collaboration between pharmacists, physicians, and patients to achieve optimal goals of therapy. However, it's nearly impossible to ever get all three parties in the same room at the same time. With TeleCounsel, patients and providers can talk face-to-face on a regular basis, enhancing communication, proper education, and overall adherence to the therapy program.

The best possible care shouldn’t be limited only to those who live in areas where all the providers are in one place. Technology allows these providers to be brought together regardless of where they are, and it benefits patients when providers take advantage of that capability.

 

3. Specialist consultations

Specialists are not found around every corner, and this is especially true in rural areas. Patients in rural areas who are in need of a specialist’s services are often left with no other choice than to travel long distances to their nearest city where a specialist has an office.

It’s 2019, and technology is available that allows specialists to reach their patients virtually. There are of course instances when physical interaction is needed, but if it’s not, there is no reason that specialists and in-town clinics can’t work together to make quality care more accessible and convenient for patients. The local clinic in town can have TeleCounsel set up and when a patient needs the expertise of a specialist, the clinic can connect with the specialist through the software.

Making the proper care and expertise available to patients regardless of their geography is an important responsibility of healthcare providers. TeleCounsel makes that task simple and efficient.

 

4. Expansion of current pharmacy operations

Lastly, TeleCounsel is a useful tool for pharmacists who are interested in expanding their current operations. TeleCounsel allows pharmacists to counsel patients in a setting such as a clinic or healthcare center where patients are being prescribed medications. The pharmacist can then give them a brief consultation as they’re about to leave, which will accomplish 3 primary things:

  1. It will give the patient a better understanding of their medication and what they will need to do to adhere to the prescription.
  2. It allows the pharmacist to recommend the patient to their own pharmacy, thus driving business to the pharmacy and also increasing the likelihood of proper adherence.
  3. It provides the pharmacists with market research to be used later on. For instance, if the pharmacist sees that a substantial amount of patients are coming through this clinic and giving them business, then it may be a worthy investment to install a full telepharmacy right there in the clinic.

TeleCounsel has a variety of great uses for all kinds of healthcare professionals. The benefits are drastic for both providers and patients. Providers can enjoy the expansion of their practice and business, while patients enjoy the increased access and communication with vital healthcare professionals.

Interested in TeleCounsel for your practice? Click below to learn more!

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