Healthcare IT News: The successes – and pitfalls – of using telehealth for home-based primary care

Although providing services to patients virtually can improve provider efficiency, it’s important to consider individual technological capabilities.

By Kat Jercich | June 26, 2020

Home-based primary care allows individuals with chronic conditions – especially older people – to stay in their homes longer, reducing hospitalization rates and improving quality of life. As the COVID-19 crisis has made evident, telehealth can be a useful tool to help connect patients with services remotely. 

However, experts say it is vital to consider the capabilities of patients when trying to implement an at-home care model – and the capabilities of their caregivers.

“It wasn’t perfect, but we did learn a lot,” said Rachael-Linn Spooner, vice president of clinical transformation at Northwell Health, in an American Telemedicine Association 2020 deep-dive session on employing telehealth for primary care.

Throughout 2018 and 2019, Northwell Health piloted small-scale programs in partnership with the Gary and Mary West Health Institute Collaboration to bring medical services to the homes of their patients virtually.