Digital Health’s special report on virtual care

Digital Health speaks to UK Country Manager Craig Oates, for their special report on virtual care.

Key highlights include:

“Technology allows us to think outside the box about how we can deliver care differently, while still providing face-to-face care for patients who need it. It’s about providing tailored options.

“The shift to considering a ‘digital first’ approach [during the pandemic] has now happened, so the focus needs to be on adapting and expanding the digital model of care to provide streamlined services for patients.

“Virtual care is essential to creating a sustainable NHS, as well as tackling the elective backlog and demands in primary care. But if it is implemented in the wrong way, it has the potential to create more work.

“We need to make clear that virtual care provides the same high-quality care as face-to-face, as well as providing new benefits such as flexibility and reduced referral-to-treatment times. This needs to be done while recognising that virtual care isn’t the right route for some patients.

“We have to avoid making healthcare inequalities worse with virtual care, and a blended model of care is key to achieving this.

“The key is implementing it in a way that compliments face-to-face care, rather than hindering it.

“The right blend of digi-physical care can transform care experience and patient outcomes, as well as improve NHS staff roles and responsibilities, and can help patients who just need to renew a prescription through to those with long-term chronic conditions who need care more regularly.

“Patient Initiated Follow-Ups are a shining example of this – outpatients book in their follow up appointments virtually if and when they need them, rather than being automatically booked in for something they might not need.”

Read the full report here: