Hello Health Blog

Rolling Back Medicine

Posted by Stephen Armstrong on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 @ 09:56 AM

The recent opening of several primary care clinics by Wal-Mart is among the latest examples of how our health care delivery landscape continues to evolve. And when the nation’s largest retailer decides to offer medical services, it is certainly a move worth noting. While the overall number of primary care clinics that Wal-Mart currently operates is just a handful in a couple of states, the potential to scale is enormous.

If the king of rolling back prices, rolls back medical care too should the independent primary care physician be concerned? Will Main Street Medicine be the latest casualty to the popularity of mega-retailers?

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Topics: primary care practice, consumer-driven health care, patient portal, Health IT solutions, innovation, Telemedicine

Telemedicine Improves Patient Access and Satisfaction

Posted by Barry Holleman on Fri, May 09, 2014 @ 10:34 AM

I heard an interesting story this week on National Public Radio about the ways North Carolina is dealing with an alarming lack of available psychiatrists for patients in rural areas. This comes at a time where ER visits for mental health reasons are increasing. North Carolina has responded by increasing the use of telehealth technology, namely videoconferencing, for psychiatric patient consultations in areas without psychiatrists, and finding that the program is working well. While the details of this story are a little outside our Hello Health wheelhouse, I was still happy to hear that video visits are being so widely appreciated for their many benefits.

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Topics: patient engagement, Telemedicine, Psychiatry

Beyond the In Office Visit: The Benefits of Patient Portals

Posted by Nat Findlay on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 @ 10:46 AM

Do you remember the last time you used a phone book? I mean the actual printed phone book supplied by the phone company. And when I say “phone company” I mean the one that provides hardwired telephone service to your home, not the company that sells the device you keep at hand all day every day; the one that’s so much more than a “telephone,” the one that provides immediate access to anything you might need to know, directions to anywhere you might want to go, and any item you might want to purchase.

It’s probably been quite a while since you let your fingers do the walking the old-fashioned way. It’s not just that technology has changed. We’ve changed. And, by far, the biggest changes that have occurred have to do with our expectations around access and connection. If you’re even moderately Internet savvy, you probably find it annoying if, say, you can’t pay a bill online, or if your favorite store won’t let you return an item the way you bought it. “Why can’t this just be EASY?” consumers lament. Now, have we really become so spoiled and impatient that we can’t do something the old-fashioned way? No. We just expect these things to be efficient these days, because we know they can be. We’ve been using communication technology to make all sorts of experiences steadily more efficient for years. And, anyway, I’d argue that what people – especially patients – want isn’t all that “new-fashioned,” but is, in fact, the opposite. They expect to feel less like a faceless number in a bloated system and have more personalized interactions.

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Topics: patient engagement, EHR, patient portal, Telemedicine

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