Modern technology has revolutionized the way patients can seek medical assistance. It has allowed patients to consult with their doctors from the comfort of their homes without traveling long distances or risking exposure to germs. It has not only made healthcare more accessible but also more convenient and safer for patients. They also provide a better patient experience and reduce costs.
Patients can schedule appointments, request medication refills, and self-monitor their health conditions remotely.
When you implement telehealth solutions, patients can connect with providers from their homes or offices, eliminating many barriers that traditionally prevent them from accessing care. They do not have to worry about finding transportation or taking time off work. Instead, they can use their smartphones to contact a provider on demand.
Using telehealth technology can also make scheduling appointments more convenient for the patient. Patients can fill out paperwork, have their vitals taken, and even speak with the doctor in a virtual office before they arrive at the clinic. These streamlined processes allow providers to see more patients and improve patient experience.
In addition, telehealth allows healthcare systems to increase revenue by reducing overhead costs. With fewer patients visiting the hospital or clinic, health systems can save on building leases and equipment costs. Additionally, by replacing in-person visits with telehealth consultations, healthcare organizations can improve their bottom line without negatively impacting patients’ quality of care.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced healthcare systems to embrace telehealth out of necessity, but it is clear that this technology offers a long-term solution to improve access, cost, and patient satisfaction. As a result, telehealth is here to stay. Today, most consumers want to use telehealth to get the care they need when they need it. To support these demands, various telehealth solutions exist, including live video (synchronous), store and forward, and remote patient monitoring.
Many patients experience challenges when it comes to accessing care. Some live in rural areas where the nearest healthcare system office is miles away. A telehealth solution can facilitate a virtual visit for a patient and their care team, which can help avoid the high costs of transportation and missed school or work time.
Remote patient monitoring and telehealth solutions also allow patients to upload data to their care team via mobile devices or online. It gives a more complete picture of the patient’s condition and how treatments work. This information can include blood sugar levels, medication logs, symptom surveys, or even photos of wounds. It can help ensure that a patient’s treatment regimen is effective and that any issues are addressed quickly by a care team member.
In addition, telehealth is an excellent option for low-acuity visits that would have otherwise been treated in the ED or urgent care. This telehealth solution can reduce costs, minimize the spread of disease, and keep people safe at home while still getting the care they need.
For patients, telehealth makes healthcare more accessible without them having to leave their homes or work. It can also help them avoid traveling to medical appointments, which saves them money on tolls, parking, and gas.
Telehealth can even make healthcare more affordable for patients with a limited income or struggling to pay for health insurance. Many insurance companies continue to expand their telehealth coverage, meaning more patients can see healthcare providers online for a fraction of what they would typically pay at an in-person appointment.
Also, suppose a patient is diagnosed with an issue requiring follow-up or ongoing care. In that case, telehealth can reduce the cost of in-person visits by making it easy to schedule future appointments. Plus, in-home monitoring tools let patients record and report symptoms from their homes.
For example, a patient may suffer from occasional blepharitis, an eye condition that causes itching, swelling, and redness. During a telehealth session, a medical expert can diagnose the problem and prescribe medicated eye drops to ease symptoms. Furthermore, if the condition worsens, patients can quickly get back on the phone to schedule a follow-up appointment closer to their homes. By reducing the frequency of return visits to emergency rooms and urgent care, healthcare systems and payers can save significant amounts of money.
Telehealth solutions improve the patient experience in many ways. Patients benefit from convenient appointments, reduced travel costs and lost work time while at home or on the way to a visit, and improved communication with their care team.
Patients may be more likely to attend a telehealth appointment if they are already comfortable with the technology and can access it easily from home or the office. They also do not have to deal with the anxiety of waiting for a healthcare professional to see them in person and do not have to worry about exposure to COVID-19 during their in-person visit.
Telehealth also helps patients feel more empowered to take control of their health with access to various services such as remote consultations, medication management, and personal health records. In addition, telehealth can help patients improve their healthy lifestyle choices through regular engagement with their providers.
Many telehealth solutions enable providers to close gaps in care by leveraging a more comprehensive range of staff, such as nurses, social workers, and dietitians. It helps them to manage chronic patients and avoid costly readmissions. In addition, telehealth can provide more timely access to specialists for rural communities so they do not have to wait for an in-person appointment. It also improves quality of care by providing a better patient experience and increased engagement for all involved.