By Christine Kern, contributing writer
Tandigm Health plans to expand its telemedicine initiative using a video appointment platform.
Many healthcare analysts anticipate telemedicine will evolve from a specialty service to standard practice over the next decade. Enhanced technology is transforming telemedicine into a service that will revolutionize the way doctors provide service to patients resulting in more convenient and accessible options than ever before.
Looking to capitalize on that predicted trend, Tandigm Health has announced it will expand its five-month pilot program into a full-scale telemedicine initiative, connecting physicians with their patients through TouchCare telephonic and video support to increase access, engagement, education, and health management. Partnering with mobile health company TouchCare, this HIPPA-compliant program allows Tandigm’s network of primary care physicians to securely connect with their patients face-to-face via their mobile device.
TouchCare and Tandigm began their partnership last fall, when they announced they would enable more than 350 Philadelphia-area PCPs to use remote video appointment technology to connect with patients via mobile devices or tablets. According to TouchCare, the partnership empowers physicians to help patients lead healthier lives, facilitates continuity of care, and enhances overall doctor-patient relationship. The partnership was especially welcome in the Philadelphia area, which is one of the most expensive healthcare markets in the United States.
The pilot phase concentrated on high-risk patients already engaged with Tandigm Care Teams, as well as allowed care managers at Gateway Medical Associates to monitor chronically ill patients via the TouchCare platform. The trial was a success, according to Susan Fleck, Director of Operations for Gateway Medical Associates, who said, “Patients and providers find the video appointments easy, effective, and convenient. In just a few months we were able to eliminate or prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and visits to the emergency room.”
Notably, by the end of 2016, TouchCare will be available to all 380 of Tandigm’s physicians with the goal of increasing patient satisfaction and cutting costs by reducing admissions and readmissions to Emergency Departments.