On December 30, I had open heart surgery at Cleveland Clinic. I can’t deny that it was uncomfortable for me, a nurse, to be a patient. The role reversal caught me off guard. Long ago I had chosen to provide care not to receive care. My firsthand experience of how a patient feels when forced to place their trust in a health system, to care for them, and make them well again has given me a deeper understanding of the vulnerability of patients and the relationship of a nurse and patient.
I’m thrilled to say that I put my life in the skilled hands of Cleveland Clinic’s esteemed clinicians and the outcome is that I feel better than ever. I thank every individual who contributed to my care, from the bottom of my repaired heart. I am ready to incorporate my new experience to getting back out there and making a difference.
As I was recovering, COVID arrived. I watched from the sidelines as COVID derailed healthcare as we know it. Confidence dropped, revenue generation plummeted, and even as doors start to open, the future is still uncertain. I especially noted how care has shifted from the office visit setting to remote or virtual care settings. I could see how being examined by a clinician via Zoom, face time or phone can be likened to a sci-fi experience that can be perceived as unfamiliar and impersonal when it is thrown out there, disconnected from the rest of the patient’s care.
My many years at Nurse on Call and in the world of telephone triage has uniquely positioned me as a resource for holistic, safe, reliable, and efficient virtual care. I’ve worked my entire career to produce optimal outcomes for virtual care. I had plenty of time during recovery to think about how to do this best in our current crisis.
We are on the cusp of a paradigm shift in the provision of healthcare. A handful of progressive, forward thinking healthcare organizations and practices were early adopters of virtual care and have had time to build a deep understanding and best practices. Favorable evidence from these leaders has been so powerful that C-Suite leaders have placed virtual care at the top of strategic priorities as a solution to limited access, avoiding delays in care, consumerism and for cost containment. Others waited for more reimbursement from the government and payers. Most of these were forced to rush implementation when quarantine hit. They are trying out new workflows on their own and are figuring it out as they go.
Albert Einstein said, “In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.” The opportunity in this crisis is to bring the benefits of virtual care to all Americans. I want to do my best to help all I can to glide, not stumble, through this door.
When all considered, the best choice in our current environment was to join my friends at Keona Health. We don’t have the luxury to waste valuable time or scarce money. Our flagship software, Care Desk was built to assist every aspect of virtual care with efficiency, ease, and safety. It has clinical compliance, logical workflow, and customizable intelligence built in. Every piece builds on the nursing practice of care for a connected, holistic experience. Keona Health has transformed the patient experience. I truly believe that telehealth done right is an investment in organizational sustainability and growth.