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Patient experience: A breakout moment for virtual care

patient video visit with physician on smartphone

“Honestly, a wonderful experience. This was my FIRST video visit and I am really impressed.”

My primary physician called me as planned — like an appointment at Kaiser [Permanente]. She asked lots of questions and offered options and choices, just like she always does in the exam room. She concluded with a clear understanding of our conversation and summarized my follow-up. I felt confident that, even during this trying time of global health concerns, my personal pain was still her concern.”

I was able to send pictures and got the medication I needed … [My physician] made me feel informed and safe. What a great experience.”

— From Kaiser Permanente patient surveys

As these recent patient reviews indicate, virtual care has found its moment. Also known as telehealth or telemedicine, virtual care is a mode of health care delivery that includes video visits, telephone appointments, and secure messaging (similar to email). As a complement to in-person visits, virtual care offers patients quality, safety, convenience, and value.

Years before the coronavirus pandemic spurred a rapid increase in telemedicine worldwide, Kaiser Permanente was setting the standard for excellence in virtual care. Today, against the backdrop of COVID-19, more patients than ever are taking the opportunity to use virtual care when medically appropriate. Primary and specialty care, physical therapy, and mental health and wellness services are just a few examples of care that can be delivered virtually.

During telehealth appointments, Kaiser Permanente clinicians have immediate and secure access to the patient’s electronic health record and can prescribe medications, order lab tests and imaging, or put in a referral to connect the patient directly with other needed care.

Remote monitoring capabilities include glucose monitoring for diabetes, blood pressure monitoring for high blood pressure, and virtual cardiac monitoring through wearable devices for patients who are recovering from heart attacks. Data from remote monitoring is sent directly into the electronic health record where it is immediately available to clinicians, playing a critical role in chronic disease management and recovery for at-risk patients.

Read the full story: A breakout moment for virtual care

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