Simple Virtual Solutions Promote Senior Care Beyond COVID-19

Simple Virtual Solutions Promote Senior Care Beyond COVID-19

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Partners in Primary Care leaned on telehealth for continued patient care. These solutions will continuing improving care coordination for its senior population long after the pandemic has ended.

There is no denying telehealth has played a critical role in care delivery throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Even the senior population – falsely accused of being slow adopters of new technology – found these tools critical for continued care.

Renee Buckingham, president of Partners in Primary Care, discussed how telehealth and virtual care technologies are critical for her patient population. In a recent episode of Healthcare Strategies, an Xtelligent Healthcare Media podcast, Buckingham outlined Partners in Primary Care’s mission to deliver senior-focused care.

“We really believe that seniors, especially those living with chronic conditions, need to be engaged with their healthcare team, whether they’re feeling well or whether they’re having an acute need,” she emphasized.

The wholly owned subsidiary of Humana focuses on providing primary care to seniors at over 60 clinic sites throughout the country.

Because many seniors struggle with multiple chronic conditions, patients of Partners in Primary Care typically have more than one wellness visit a year.

“We ask our patients to come see us a minimum of four times a year,” Buckingham explained. “We’ve invested in nurse care coaches who work with individuals around a number of chronic conditions to really make sure that they have all of the information necessary, that they’re managing, on a day-to-day basis, their condition.”

Like many provider organizations, Partners in Primary Care offered patients telehealth visits before the pandemic. But COVID-19 increased the use of these technologies dramatically. Virtual care offerings grew to include primary care physician appointments as well as visits other care team members, like care coaches and social workers, to help coordinate care.

“A lot of people didn’t think that seniors would move so quickly to using virtual capabilities,” admitted Buckingham.

But simple technologies helped generate success.

“We have found that the best vehicle for telehealth has been our electronic medical record, where we have worked with the vendor and the vendor has made investments in making it easier to preregister to get into a portal and then to be able to connect for that virtual visit more quickly,” Buckingham explained.

The ease of access and patient satisfaction with these technologies is why Buckingham believes they will remain a part of Partners in Primary Care’s care delivery strategy even after the pandemic.

“We will continue to see an increased engagement with our patients using virtual capability,” she predicted. “We’re spending a lot of time investigating capabilities and securing access so that we can provide it to our patients to create better virtual connectivity.”

Listen to the full podcast to hear more details. 

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