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Edgardo Mecadante P'79 Heralds Importance of Telemedicine During COVID-19 Pandemic
As many businesses have moved to a virtual environment to practice social distancing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Edgardo A. Mercadante P’79, HonDSc’17 has seen a new focus on telehealth as healthcare providers seek to offer the same care to patients without in-person visits.
“As a modality, it has become an awakening,” said Mercadante. ”It has completely disrupted the care delivery channels and I think it is here to stay.”
Mercadante, founder and CEO of MediTelecare, a dynamic telehealth/telemedicine company, said up until a few months ago, when he would talk to someone about telehealth it would often require a few minutes explanation, but today, more and more he is seeing a greater understanding and more acceptance that it is a good way to provide care.
“We have just grown tremendously over the last two years,” said Mercadante. “Now because of this crisis, the cynicism of the concept has been removed and it is accepted more.” Like with any new channel of care, Mercadante said telehealth is just a new avenue for care delivery.
MediTelecare delivers world-class healthcare and behavioral healthcare to patients in long-term care facilities, rural hospitals, and community health centers where access to these services may be customarily difficult. The company’s delivery model is based on having nurse practitioners, pharmacists, psychologists, physician assistants and physicians working together in a telehealth care ecosystem treating patients for issues ranging from mild depression to advanced Alzheimers and neurological disorders. To help the company Skilled Nursing Center clients during COVID-19, MediTelecare has expanded its platform to all members of the care team including primary care and the frontline facility staff members.
The company built a digital hub, incorporating a suite of digital features, that include an online virtual referral system to allow practitioners to prioritize care while providing patients and clinicians with a secure Televideo portal and clinical tool set for their respective setting. The system also utilizes proprietary software to analyze drug information and provide a comprehensive patient health record to all members of the care circle.
“We know that healthcare is always changing, and we have to be adaptable and see the challenges of healthcare as opportunities for practitioners,” he said. “We can’t live in an environment where we rely on the status quo.”
Telehealth is the future for many healthcare providers, said Mercadante, and he encourages students interested in going into healthcare fields to take advantage of telemedicine rotations during their education.
“It is really a phenomenal opportunity for a young person to experience,” said Mercadante.
“Everyone on the care team must view a telehealth experience as if they were in a
face-to-face encounter but with tighter protocols. There are things you see face-to-face
that you can’t see on the video, so it is important for a student or clinician to
understand clinical protocols are really important.”
Categories: News, Alumni, Proven Everywhere, Coronavirus, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, Pharmacy,