How Call Centers Are Transforming Veteran Care
As the cost of healthcare rises, certain patient populations are facing obstacles to receiving quality care in a timely manner. Veterans, for example, face a variety of challenges when it comes to health care -- from a lack of technology to outdated systems to issues with patient reimbursement that can result in major delays of care. Frustration can rise, too, as a result of bureaucratic policies that often stand in the way of veterans receiving the care they need at the time they require it most. As a result, veteran care desperately needs reform in order to provide a higher quality of care and improve the overall patient experience.
The Veteran's Choice Program (VCP), and others like it, have certainly helped to spur this type of change since they enable veterans to seek care from a local provider when their VA clinic can't provide it in a timely manner -- or if the closest VA facility is more than 40 miles away. However, millions of patients have yet to enjoy this experience.
Expanded Access to Care Through Video
As digital transformation continues to reshape the future of healthcare, new technology is drastically changing the ways that patients can receive care. The virtualization of healthcare visits, for example, is growing in both popularity and capability as technology advances -- making healthcare more accessible to veterans living with mobility issues or in rural areas. Medical call centers that are using telehealth services for virtual visits in particular are completely transforming the experience for thousands of veterans who are frustrated with delays in care by expanding access and providing same-day services where they didn't exist before.
Today's healthcare industry call centers differ significantly from call centers of the past, as they now provide patients with a variety of ways to communicate with their clinics or providers. This increased availability of communications through various modes such as chat, video, and text is empowering patients to drive the interactions with their providers based on preferred technology.
Call centers using a unified communications solution with robust video capabilities not only allow for video visits to expand the access that veterans have to get the care they need, but for the delay in care to be resolved with immediate and convenient access from a computer or mobile device.
WebRTC Eliminates Barriers to Accessing Mental Health Care
Video visits are especially helpful in transforming mental healthcare for veterans across the nation. As the deployment of various UC and medical call center solutions rise, mental healthcare is slowly becoming more virtualized as well. This is particularly important in veteran care since many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Unfortunately, veterans often face obstacles in receiving that care due to mobility issues or access to transportation to clinics where their care is covered. In a 2018 study, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found that 50% of veterans surveyed showed a need for mental health care, but weren't currently receiving any. In addition to lack of transportation, the stigma of mental health issues and an inability to easily access resources can stand in the way of veterans receiving the care they need.
What WebRTC allows is an easy access, secure point of contact on a physician's website for patients to reach out directly via chat, email, or voice -- without having to install an app on their phones or create user logins. All major browsers today support WebRTC functionality, so virtual visits are more easily accessible to patients using a wide variety of platforms and devices -- further expanding access to care for veterans regardless of their at-home technology, and making mental health consultations a simple click away.
With a growing veteran population that so desperately needs faster and more flexible access to quality healthcare, it's critical that the latest digital communications breakthroughs transform veteran care as well.