Dr Susan Escudier on the Benefits and Burdens of Digital Health Solutions

SAP Partners | <b>McKesson</b>

Telemedicine visits can make physicians more efficient, but the ability to report symptoms can add to the workload burden as staff try to figure out which symptoms need to be addressed, said Susan Escudier, MD, FACP, vice president of value-based care and quality programs, Texas Oncology.

Telemedicine visits can make physicians more efficient, but the ability to report symptoms can add the workload burden as staff try to figure out which symptoms need to be addressed, said Susan Escudier, MD, FACP, vice president of value-based care and quality programs, Texas Oncology.

Transcript

Are digital health solutions streamlining providers' work or adding more to their plate?

I think that telemedicine visits make physicians more efficient, assuming it works the first time. But you can sit at your desk, and I can talk to 1, 2, 3, 4 patients in a row, quickly. I don’t have to wait for someone to take their blood pressure and move them out of the room.

I would say that there are times when it’s more of a burden, just because of the technology. The need for the technology really took off in the pandemic, and it was maybe a little earlier than it was ready to go. But the one I do worry about is the patient-reported symptoms, because I think it can get overwhelming for the nursing staff, and we’ve had to figure out as a group, do we address everything the patient mentions? I mean, if they’re tired, well, I’m tired, you’re tired, you know? I think we’ve tried to focus on higher degrees of symptoms.

But that worries me a little bit about having sort of every patient itch and rash and lumps or bumps having to be transmitted to the chart and dealt with. I think that, to me, is an important question of how to filter the information so we get what’s important.