Rajesh Midha, Chief Strategy and Operating Officer, was interviewed by Newsradio 600 KOGO about telehealth expansion in the age of COVID-19.

View the transcript of the interview:

Newsradio 600 KOGO: The Trump administration recently announced expansion of telehealth services for seniors in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Medicare patients can now visit any doctor by phone or video conference at no additional cost. Joining us on the KOGO News Live Line, Chief Strategy Officer of Bottle Rocket and a healthcare expert, Rajesh Midha. Good morning.

Rajesh Midha: Good morning Ted. Good morning LaDona. Pleasure to be on the show.

KOGO: Well thank you, good to have you. So why is digital transformation essential in the healthcare sector?

Rajesh: Healthcare companies want to deliver a better customer experience yet lag far behind retail, travel and several other industries. And now we're living in a world of COVID-19, and it's more important than ever to really think about how patients can access their healthcare services remotely, digitally and in new ways. So it is the number one rallying cry for healthcare systems and insurers across the country right now. How do we support patients, how do we support providers in a better way that still allows social distancing, but the ability to take care of someone's health?

KOGO: So do providers have the technology the infrastructure that they need to keep up with the increased demand of telehealth?

Rajesh: Some do and some don't. But the good news is that most providers across the country, started to invest in technology, including telehealth to help support remote access to healthcare. The challenge is that it was always much lower on the priorities of the healthcare system. And so not a lot of investment was made across the country. But what's happening right now is that those health care systems are reprioritizing the things that they want to tackle and bringing telehealth to the number one, two, three, four and five spots.

KOGO: So what are some of the current mistakes that providers are making when it comes to providing a really great patient experience?

Rajesh: Well, I think that very simple mistakes or around clarity of communication. And so when we think about it. The first thing to do is to make it clear to the patient, how do they access telehealth? And very simply put that button right on the homepage. So if I'm a patient and I'm out there right now and I'm thinking about accessing health care, go to your health care systems website and check and make sure that you can access it remotely via phone or via video. So the first thing I would encourage providers to do is make sure that it's very clear on your website what patients should do, there needs to be an ease of being able to make appointments, check diagnostic tests, get your prescriptions online. And for patients to reach not only any provider, but their preferred provider. So those are some of the areas that we're advising clients to invest in right now.

KOGO: So when it comes to telehealth though it seems like there is a, you know, without having contact with the patient to check breathing, to check the lungs, to check the blood pressure. It seems like you know, we just are not going to have the same experience and maybe not the same care, or is that wrong?

Rajesh: No, that's true. I think that there are certain situations where it's impossible to tell without a physical exam, what someone is suffering from or without a diagnostic exam. But that said, there are still triage situations where we can route patients to the appropriate level of care and give advice on what they should be doing, whether that's staying home and giving it a couple more days or accessing healthcare via their ER. So I do think that the ability to access and reach their provider by phone or by video is still helpful, but I agree with you, LaDona, that there is still a gap in terms of the physical visit.

KOGO: All right, healthcare expert and Chief Strategy Officer of Bottle Rocket, Rajesh Midha, thank you so much for joining us.

Rajesh: Thank you, Ted, have a great day everyone.


Listen to the interview below: