Virtual Care

man talks to doctor through virtual health appointmentThe approach to healthcare may dramatically change based on information ranging from a patient’s medical history to their current conditions, from cutting edge research to the next generation of best practices and policies.

But what happens when patients miss appointments due to a lack of transportation? What if they are given medications that must be taken with food, but their doctor doesn’t know that they are food insecure and not eating consistently? What if patients need more physical activity to manage their conditions, but live in an area where something as simple as going for a walk is complicated by concerns for safety?

These issues and more are why Parkland Health & Hospital System is working to expand access to Virtual Care.

The Facts

According to Parkland’s most recent Community Health Needs Assessment:

  • Preventable factors such as tobacco use, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity are contributing to the leading causes of hospitalizations and deaths among Parkland patients including cancer, diabetes, asthma, chronic kidney disease and chronic heart failure.
  • There is nearly a 25-year difference in the range between the Dallas County ZIP codes with the highest (75204) and lowest (75215) life expectancies.
  • Patient and provider focus group feedback named access to healthcare the largest barrier to better healthcare.

The Reality

Sadly, heartbreaking health disparities exist in Dallas County and patients often face barriers when seeking care. Work schedules, lack of transportation or limited childcare resources often force patients to choose between their health needs and the needs of their families.

One silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the accelerated adoption of telehealth across broad demographics. The use of virtual visits to augment in-person care is becoming an accepted tool by patients and clinical teams alike. It is also a core component of advancing new, individualized care delivery models that focus on health rather than illness.

The Solution

Parkland strives to provide seamless coordination of care, behavioral health support and relevant social services in a proactive individualized manner. We call it data-driven, digitally enabled whole person health and the result is:

  • Better health outcomes;
  • Increased personal accountability for health; and
  • More effective use of clinical and non-clinical resources.

Our approach depends heavily on the foundational use of data and the corresponding development of actionable, analytical insights to both enable and optimize whole person health. Specifically, we need to:

  • Build and utilize a next generation data hub;
  • Understand our patients’ preferences for wellness and whom they involve as decision-makers and influencers;
  • Reimagine access to make virtual care accessible across Parkland’s system, at convenient access points in the community and at home;
  • Close the digital divide; and
  • Create opportunities for greater self-care for more people through digital “circles of care” support groups made up of patients with common needs, family/friends and care teams.

How You Can Help

Providing our most vulnerable neighbors access to the care they need is critical. But we can’t do it alone; we need your help. Make your gift today to provide the quality, compassionate care that everyone deserves.

Make a Gift to Support Parkland's Virtual Care Program

Additional Information

In March 2021, Parkland supporters gathered online to learn more about the virtual care program. Click below to access the recording and slides from the event.