What Is Telehealth And Why Do You Need It?
The field of healthcare is not unaffected by the progress in telecommunication technology. Now, doctors depend on technology to provide distant medical services. Known as virtual health or telehealth, this has resulted in enhanced patient experience and positive effects on health. As a leading healthcare practice, it can reduce costs and increase patient satisfaction.
Telehealth Vs Virtual Health
According to Harvard Business Review, virtual healthcare is using the technology for delivering healthcare services independent of location and time. Virtual health has become an integral part of healthcare services all across the USA. This has enabled doctors to be present at the right place at the right time.
According to a survey conducted by Vidyo.Inc. around 75% of healthcare providers, nurses, and physicians are currently using or plan to use telehealth to improve their patient treatment plans. Surprisingly, the adoption of remote patient monitoring has seen over a 50% increase in the previous 5 years.
A study by Accenture, a global consulting firm, states that telehealth can produce around $10 billion for the US economy.
Telehealth Vs Telemedicine
Telemedicine is the process of delivering medical care using telecommunication technology. On the other hand, telehealth has a broader scope. It includes electronic and telecommunication technology to provide better patient care treatment.
Telemedicine involves clinical services while telehealth also involves non-clinical services delivered remotely. This marks a huge difference between both fields. Telehealth consists of provider training along with patient monitoring, telemedicine, and health education.
Why Do You Need A Telehealth System?
To answer this question, you will need to understand the challenges your practice is facing. Do you want to reduce the overall cost? Or improve patients’ access to better healthcare services? Or do you want to grow so that you could treat more patients? In either case, telehealth technology can provide you with a complete solution that can take your practice to new heights.
Barriers To Adopting Telehealth Technology
Physicians and healthcare providers are reluctant in adopting telehealth due to the following factors;
- Complexity of implementation
- Untrained staff
- Not sufficient demand for telehealth services
- Unclear national policies to confirm reimbursements
- Infrastructure limitations
- HIPAA compliance concerns
- The issue with EHR software integration
- Fewer data to support return on investment
All these factors are the reasons why providers feel reluctant in shifting toward telehealth services.
How Telehealth Works?
A Telehealth system is a cloud-based platform that enables 24/7 access to the dashboard. The dashboard where medical records and prescriptions are updated. A HIPAA-compliant telehealth system allows secure messaging between providers and patients. This helps build trust between both parties resulting in better relationships.
Telehealth can be synchronous or asynchronous.
It involves live interaction between the healthcare provider and the patient. Providers pay virtual visits, mostly via video call. It helps the provider know about the current condition of the patient allowing him for a detailed diagnosis.
It is exactly the opposite of synchronous telehealth. The providers forward the messages which are not happening in real-time. This model is used by various specialties. Especially, specialties like dermatology, cosmetic surgery and orthopedic use this telehealth model for communicating with the patients.
Benefits Of Telehealth
1. Medication Alerts:
At the time of medicine intake, patients receive alerts. These alerts work as a reminder. A missed dose is recorded in the system. This helps the medical provider know the behavior of patients. Moreover, patients also get alerts when the prescription is due.
2. Supports Patients With Restricted Mobility:
Older people and crippled patients equally benefit from the technology. Especially the patients suffering from severe illnesses. It is difficult for them to visit the clinic or hospital on foot. Telehealth solves this issue as the patients don’t need to move.
3. Timely Care And Treatment:
A challenge in healthcare is to deliver treatment to the patients on time. Patients living in rural areas and those who have to pay visits to the emergency room can get instant medical treatment through telehealth. A video call lets the provider understand the sensitivity of the issue and devise a treatment plan immediately.
4. Reduced Overall Costs:
Physical visits can be costly. Because of the transportation cost and repetitive manual tasks. The provider may find it difficult to deliver quality treatment on time. Due to the absence of transport, telehealth reduces the cost. Manual tasks can be done through computerized technology. It results in the timely delivery of quality Medicare services.
5. Varied Suite Of Technology Options:
Healthcare services come with a variety of technology options that can help in delivering better care. You can use the following features;
- A smartphone
- Email or text alerts
- Ordering feature
- Patient portal
Using these features and devices will let you keep up with the fast-pacing medicare services and activities.
6. Independence For Elder Patients:
Travel is a challenge for elder patients. They are dependent on others for moving around. However, telehealth resolves the issue by providing virtual care. It can positively affect the overall health of elder patients.
7. Patient Engagement And Satisfaction:
Telehealth technology can help in engaging patients during their treatment. Doctor patient communication improves. Patients can ask questions, request information, and stay connected with the healthcare providers. This sense of care and connectivity boosts patients’ sense of satisfaction.
8. Better Communication:
Staying in touch is the most important benefit of telehealth services. Hence, patient provider communication increases and they can not only communicate through video calls but through text messages and voice calls as well. Regular communication makes it possible to deliver top-notch medical care to patients of all sorts.
Telehealth is an important part of your overall treatment plan. You can expect a decrease in overall costs. Furthermore, you can grow your practice and let more patients access quality healthcare services. Patient satisfaction rises and it can positively impact a patient’s health and well-being. It is the future and you should welcome the future with an open mind and heart.