DrFirst, a pioneer in technology, support, and services that connect people at touchpoints of patient care, today announced a new telehealth feature for DrFirst’s BacklineR care collaboration tool. By partnering with Agora.io, the leading voice, video, and live interactive streaming platform, Backline now enables clinicians to connect with patients and other healthcare providers in real-time, from anywhere in the world.
“For most people, the term ‘telehealth’ means an online visit they can schedule with a healthcare provider,” said G. Cameron Deemer, president of DrFirst. “Instead, DrFirst’s Backline allows healthcare providers to initiate video sessions with other clinicians to discuss care plans, or with patients as part of follow-up care,” he explained. “There are times when a physician needs more information – visual information – about a patient than can be communicated through a simple phone call. It may be seeing if the patient is moving normally or evaluating if a wound is infected. In some cases, the physician may just want to provide a more interactive level of service than a phone call can provide.”
Telehealth services have expanded to include using the technology to improve and coordinate patient care, according to the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration.
Healthcare providers can use Backline’s telehealth capability to confer with other clinicians, similar to a traditional video conference, but using technology that meets HIPAA requirements to protect private patient information. Paramedics can use Backline EMS on their smartphones to consult hospital physicians to facilitate faster treatment for emergency patients.
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“Our partnership with DrFirst gives healthcare providers valuable new options to take care of their patients,” said Reggie Yative, COO of Agora. “Physicians, nurses, paramedics, and other healthcare providers can start a secure telehealth conference using their smartphone or computer.”
Backline is used to improve care collaboration in nearly every setting, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, hospices, and pharmacies. Backline EMS also allows paramedics to access six months of patient medication histories, to help avoid dangerous drug interactions, even if patients are unresponsive or can’t remember their medications. Paramedics also can share patient information on the way to the receiving hospital using Backline’s secure messaging, to speed the time to treatment.
Because Backline’s telehealth capability adheres to HIPAA standards for sharing protected health information, patients will be required to complete two-factor authentication before participating in a video call with their clinicians through the tool.