A Message from Our President - July 2021

The Difference Between Care and Quality Care

There’s a difference between simply providing care via telemedicine and providing quality care via telemedicine.

What differentiates the two? I believe these 3 words serve as drivers of providing quality care in both Telepsychiatry and Teleneurology.

Commitment  

Telemedicine relies on true commitment from a virtual physician to see patients, regardless of the time. When a call comes in at 2 a.m. concerning a potential stroke case, the physician has the opportunity to save the life of a patient. Doing so means being committed to identifying unequivocally that a stroke has taken place, and then leading the way to promptly help limit or even reverse the stroke. This is done by prompt assessment of the patient, carefully reading key data such as vital signs and the CT scan results, then acting in earnest to provide tPA to the patient by working virtually with the nurse beside the patient. These physicians cannot have an off day. Every minute counts, just as their own commitment to quality patient care pushes them to do whatever is needed. 

Quality care doesn’t happen casually; it happens as a direct by-product of a true commitment to the patient.

Interest

The best Telemedicine physicians take a keen interest in patients. A virtual psychiatrist routinely spends 45 to 60 minutes assessing an acute psychiatric patient in the ED. This includes an array of questions of the patient and the patient’s family – from their family history to their medication, thoughts, and concerns. All of this takes place in real time as the physician seeks the best diagnosis for the patient. Without interest in that patient, the telepsychiatrist could never truly assess the patient. The driving force behind a Telepsychiatrist in an Emergent setting is genuine interest in the patient, the patient’s past, and most of all, in the patient’s future. 

Kindness

Committed and interested virtual physicians also consistently consult patients with kindness. They ensure that each patient is as comfortable and calm as possible, just as they bring a caring bedside manner – even when virtual – to help the patient relax. Whether teleneurologists or telepsychiatrists, the clinicians easily demonstrate generosity in their questions and evaluations just as they carefully help reduce fear and concern. With this natural habit of being kind, the virtual physicians help the patients and their families feel the one thing they need most: Peace. 

As part of the work we do, VirtualMed Staff specifically seeks out physicians with each of these 3 traits, which collectively ensure quality patient care. The kind of goodwill that makes its way back to both us and the virtual physicians across the country, as hospitals single out the importance of quality care and satisfied patients.