It’s not surprising to see people embracing telehealth. Well, they were already using wearables and mobile health apps, and now look for options to connect with their doctors virtually. With emerging healthcare IT solutions like telehealth, patients can now have a video consultation with their physicians right from their homes.
What is telehealth?
Telehealth can be broadly defined as an electronic exchange of medical information, from health monitoring to transmission of medical records. The benefits of telehealth for patients are apparent. But what’s in it for healthcare organizations that provide telehealth services?
1. Earn additional revenue
Patients, especially those living in rural areas find difficulty in traveling far away to see their physicians. For them, gaining access to quality healthcare can be a real challenge. By conducting some appointments via live video, doctors can attract new patients who aren’t willing to drive every time they need to see their doctor.
For rural doctors, telehealth opens the door to many more resources. This healthcare technology makes it much easier for specialists to consult with physicians living in remote areas. This benefits the doctor in getting a real-time second opinion and minimizing any delay in care.
2. Boost productivity
Efficiency is among the key benefits of telehealth. Virtual visits save patients’ time, and hence, they’re fewer chances of them missing on their appointments. Patient portals and mobile apps further enable patients to view lab results and schedule their own appointments — all of which means fewer calls for hospital staff. Store-and-forward technology, on the other hand, help medical professionals collaborate more quickly.
3. Lowering readmissions rates
Telehealth solutions can improve patient satisfaction and reduce readmission rates. For instance, remote patient monitoring via wearable devices, clinicians can keep a tab on high-risk patients even after they have discharged. This way, care teams can intervene before patients’ problems get severe enough to require readmission.
4. Virtually train medical staff
Medicine is an ever-evolving science, so even the best physicians need regular training to remain at the top of their game, which is not always cheap. Using video conferencing technology, physicians can attend conferences remotely, without considering travel costs and lost time with patients.
Clinicians can attend virtual reality training solutions, which let them observe recorded surgeries, and even go through mock-ups that provide hands-on experience, while also learning new medical procedures.
In a Nutshell
Even today, the rural population faces a shortage of expert physicians. With telemedicine, people can reach out to doctors in remote areas through video consultations. And the cost of a virtual consultation is much lower than an in-person visit.
As more healthcare organizations adopt these pioneering technologies, doctors can extend their connections, while also increasing patient satisfaction and care quality.