Due to the advancement in digital technology, there has been a huge change in how healthcare is delivered. As of now, almost any person with an Internet connection can access medical care using “telehealth”.
Because of our present health situation in our country, it has become vital to provide patients with different virtual care options. In general, telehealth offers numerous benefits for patients, and significant advantages for healthcare providers, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What Exactly Is Telehealth?
In definition, telehealth is the application of electronic data and telecommunication technology (such as mobile devices and computers) to support a wide range of healthcare services, including:
– Healthcare administration
– Public health
– Professional and patient health-related education
– Long-distance clinical health care
The term “telehealth” can also be used in a broader sense to refer to the wide scope of methods for improving education, clinical care, and other health-related sectors using technology.
Recent statistics reveal that telehealth makes up 25% of the healthcare-related technology market.
What Are the Advantages of Telehealth for Healthcare Providers?
Technology experts at D.A.R. say, “Video visits are not only safe but also a convenient way for people who need to get in touch with different service providers. The same goes with patients having to consult with their specialists and primary care doctors.
They suggest, “Ensure that you limit face to face interaction so you don’t have to worry about spreading the germs in through this- especially during this particular period of social distancing and uncertainty of COVID-19 pandemic.”
What’s more, telehealth creates various opportunities that benefit clinicians and healthcare organisations. Read on about the top benefits healthcare providers get from telehealth.
1. Telehealth ensures quality patient outcomes
Dealing with patients with chronic conditions can prove to be a daunting task because of the time needed to monitor them. Telehealth ensures quality patient outcomes by allowing easier chronic health management through the use of remote technology.
Generally speaking, this is common for patients who live in rural places who can’t afford quality specialists without travelling to distant health facilities. Furthermore, it is specifically relevant now, since patients who might be at a higher risk of problems from COVID-19 can reduce their exposure to the lethal virus while still getting the care they require through technology.
2. Telehealth reduces hospital readmissions
A majority of patients make unnecessary (and expensive) trips to the urgent care clinics or emergency room to receive the care they need, particularly after an acute health complication. Due to the heightened worry about COVID-19 symptoms, most people seek prompt care in-person, increasing their risk of exposure to something more serious. However, educating patients about follow-up care through calls or video conferences can help cut down on hospital costs and readmissions.
Besides cost reduction linked to lower rates of readmission, ongoing communication via remote monitoring and written post-discharge instructions can help them efficiently manage their particular condition even if they are away from healthcare equipment and facilities.
3. Telehealth enhances patient interaction and satisfaction
COVID-19 might be at the forefront of every person’s mind, but there are plenty of other health complications for which patients require care. However, visiting the doctor’s office might lead to additional anxiety and heightened risk of exposure to an infection, particularly for patients with pre-existing conditions or those who are immunocompromised. This makes telemedicine an ideal option for patients to receive the care they want and need from their homes’ safety and comfort.
Mostly, today’s patients prefer physicians who make it convenient for them to monitor or maintain their health. You should expect features such as appointment reminder text messages and online booking in a world where patients can arrange vacation reservations and food delivery with a finger’s simple touch.
4. Telehealth allows convenient access to medical care
Most providers struggle to enhance patient access to health care, probably because of resource constraints or because they serve hard to reach populations.
This is particularly true in rural places and now as health systems and hospitals are flooded with individuals concerned about COVID-19 symptoms. In general, telehealthcare enables providers to expand access to health care and services without having to personally check the patients. Telemedicine makes it possible to see more patients without the restriction of travel time if a physician’s appointment is needed.
What’s more, telemedicine extends access to those who:
– Need to be triaged
– Live out of your delivery system
– Live in rural areas
– Cannot otherwise travel to care
– Need to visit specialists only available in specific locations
5. Telehealth reduce no-show appointments
Most patients who miss appointments only do so because they lack reliable transportation means to get them to and from their doctor’s office. In general, transportation limitations mainly affect older patients who might struggle with disabilities or mobility challenges that make travelling difficult.
Due to the convenience of telemedicine, it eliminates the transportation barrier, enabling your patients to attend their appointment without having to worry about high costs and travel time. This greatly reduces no show appointments and enhances access, costs, and efficiency of care.
6. Telehealth reduces health care expenses
Generally, telemedicine offers a chance to enhance efficiency in utilising resources and reducing operating costs while enabling flexibility in operation hours to meet your patient population’s requirements better.
According to some practices, if a traditional onsite appointment is substituted with telemedicine, they save as much as 50% of the cost of an onsite doctor’s office visit. As of now, most healthcare organisations are providing discounted telemedicine services to assist in maintaining social distancing whenever possible.