From the Apple HealthKit to HealthSpot stations it couldn’t be a more exciting time for mobile and telemedicine patient care. Patient care is being taken to a new level that is advancing with our fast paced society, our desire to stay fit via our mobile devices and receiving quality care at a valuable price. Now even more options for care at school, your place of employment and even in retail locations such as the grocery store. From picking up a few necessities for dinner to receiving care for minor illnesses (with no wait time), you can be seen by a medical provider via videoconference.
One healthcare organization taking advantage of this new paradigm is The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cleveland Clinic is partnering with the local retailer Marc’s to pilot these new telemedicine kiosks in retail locations after successful pilots in three of their existing health centers. The HealthSpot Kiosk is a private, walk-in kiosk with integrated medical devices staffed by an accredited Medical Assistant. “It has a touchscreen and video screen that allows patients to talk to a doctor, who may be miles away, in real time. Patients will now be able to receive a doctor or nurse practitioner’s advice on coughs, sore throats, fevers and other minor ailments.”
HealthSpot stations are another mechanism that healthcare organizations are offering patients to gain greater access to care. These stations provide the combined advantage of a virtual visit approach with a physician or nurse practioner in addition to the provided convenience within universities, employers and retail locations. This is especially beneficial for those that don’t have immediate or private access to the technologies for a more traditional virtual visit with their healthcare provider.
In addition to the benefits of patient access to care and avoidance of costly ER visits, organizations have the ability to integrate these visits directly into the health record making continuity of care a continued priority. As the healthcare industry forges ahead with focus on quality of care, innovations such as these will need to be a priority for organizations. Soon technologies such as these won’t be a competitive advantage, but rather a standard operating procedure.
So, I think I will take a lunch break, head to the nearest HealthSpot location to pick up a few groceries and find out why my ear aches.