Care Can’t Wait: US Family Health Plan Provides 24-hour Health Care through Telehealth and Nurse Hotlines
Sometimes care can’t wait. Patients increasingly require on-demand care outside of the traditional setting of a hospital or clinic. Thanks to advances in technology, individuals can have easier access to health care and medical resources – often even from home.
In a new US Family Health Plan Alliance video, Dr. Steven Kravet, MD, MBA – president of Johns Hopkins Community Physicians – discusses how the Johns Hopkins US Family Health Plan integrates telehealth and technology into the quality health care they provide to their members.
“I think even more so now there is a focus on telehealth and emerging technology,” Dr. Kravet said. “Johns Hopkins US Family Health Plan tries to remain on top of technology and we like to believe that we are a forward, innovative organization. We’re beginning to communicate appointments through text features and have automatic call reminders that are programmed through our telephone systems. Our electronic portal is extremely highly used.”
Dr. Kravet estimates that 80 percent of Johns Hopkins US Family Health Plan members access their health records through the plan’s electronic portal, which they can also use to communicate with their care teams through electronic or “asynchronous health visits.” Patients can ask questions about their care through the electronic portal instead of coming in for an in-person appointment.
“It adds an element of convenience for our patients who don’t necessarily have to come in for a visit when they might have had to before and it offers the doctors the opportunity to think through those questions and be prepared to answer them comprehensively,” Dr. Kravet added. “We also have video visits in certain situations, where are patients are able to have a face-to-face visit through a video rather than a direct visit.”
The US Family Health Plan leverages modern technology to emphasize the patient-centered medical home concept and was the first TRICARE provider to emphasize virtual care support through a 24-hour nurse help line for US Family Health Plan members who need immediate assistance.
“It’s important to have access to care at all times of the day and night, and one of the important components to that is access to a nurse hotline, which makes questions and communication available to our military patients after hours,” Dr. Kravet explained. “We work in close coordination with the hotline to share information to make sure that whenever questions are asked or answered, that information is passed back to primary care providers.”
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