At Boston Children’s Hospital, our growing portfolio of telehealth and telemedicine programs connects hospitals, physicians and patients. Clinicians at Boston Children’s use digital technologies to provide patient care, professional consultations and education at a distance, enabling them to efficiently extend their expertise beyond the traditional brick-and-mortar settings of the hospital and outpatient clinic. Our goals with telehealth are to:
- expedite timely access to care
- improve the patient care experience (quality, satisfaction and convenience)
- reduce overall health care costs
- make the practice of medicine more efficient
The Telehealth Program supports the development of care innovations that align with Boston Children’s focus on high-value care. We aim to provide all patients, regardless of their geographic location or economic status, with access to high-quality pediatric care while reducing overall costs, maintaining quality and improving the patient experience.
Telehealth and telemedicine are distinct terms. Telemedicine focuses more narrowly on the curative aspect of care (i.e., diagnosis and treatment). Telehealth more broadly encompasses the preventive and curative aspects of care.
Telehealth is a process and system of care delivery that uses communication technologies to deliver a broad range of health-related services. Telehealth facilitates virtual interactions between clinicians, patients and caregivers to support patient care and education. These interactions may be “live” and interactive (e.g., video visits), they may be asynchronous (e.g., remote radiology interpretations) or they may entail remote biometric monitoring (e.g., a diabetic patient’s daily glucometer readings automatically uploaded and sent to a clinician for review).
Boston Children’s Telehealth Program develops services which enhance our relationships with network hospitals, outpatient practices and physicians, and build new relationships with physicians, hospitals, families and patients in local and regional markets, across the U.S. and around the globe.