It’s no surprise that both patients and healthcare providers have embraced telemedicine.
Working in close coordination with softwares like Practice Management Software and platforms such as Electronic Health Record (EHR), telehealth has revolutionalized modern healthcare.
Telehealth is simply the provision of medical services through video conferencing, telephones, and the internet.
The dawn of the web doctor has produced a breed of consumers who value fast, personalized, and convenient medical services. As such, organizations such as Call Doc have had to revamp their medical services to tap into this new demand. Mobile applications such as the Teladoc app have greatly helped this course.
But how have patients and practitioners benefited from telehealth?
7 Benefits of Telehealth
1. Streamlined Clinical Workflow
The introduction of telehealth technology in healthcare has helped practitioners improve their clinical workflow. A telemedicine platform like Teladoc helps a doctor quickly diagnose your symptoms and urgency of your healthcare needs.
When patients call the hospital, an e-health platform translates what they say into medical terminology using language processing software. As a result, their free-text input is coded for acuity, SNOMED, chief complain or ICD10, adding structure to patient data.
The structured information is then used by telemedicine platforms to prioritize patient cases according to their severity. This results in streamlined service provision for practitioners and better care for patients.
2. Virtual Training of Medical Staff
In the ever-changing world of medicine, even the most talented doctors have to keep abreast with new research and technology. Regular training is important but quite expensive. In addition to training fees and traveling costs, organizations have to consider lost patient time when training staff.
Fortunately, telehealth has made staff training easier, faster, and cheaper. Physicians can now be remotely trained through video conferencing.
Virtual reality solutions have also made staff training more effective and time-efficient. With VR training, medical practitioners and students can examine recorded surgical procedures from different angles, and gain hands-on experience through immersive simulations.
3. Increased Patient Honesty
Interestingly, most patients are more frank with their doctors when they consult them remotely. Being in a familiar home environment makes the patients more relaxed, making it easier for them to admit mistakes such as missing doses.
What’s more, it’s easier to ask a virtual doctor some personal health questions that you may consider embarrassing during one-on-one consultations.
4. Cheaper Healthcare
When a doctor monitors and analyses a patient’s condition remotely, it saves the hospital, insurance companies, and the patient a significant amount of money. Unnecessary visits to the hospital are eliminated, saving the patient’s transportation costs and hospital’s resources.
5. Readily Accessible Care
Telehealth has worked miracles as far as access to quality healthcare is concerned. Due to the shortage of health systems, physicians, and reachable call centers, many patients were finding it very hard to access quality healthcare.
Fortunately, telemedicine has remedied the situation by enabling hospitals to:
- Reach people living in rural areas.
- Provide doctor-guided remote care.
- Offer nurse-led virtual education.
- Help patients beyond the healthcare delivery system.
In turn, better access to healthcare services has increased patient satisfaction.
6. Reduced Readmissions and Better HCAHPS Scores
Among the most important goals for healthcare providers are low readmission rates, high patient satisfaction, and zero federal penalties. Substandard performance on these merits can hurt a hospital’s reputation.
Thanks to telehealth, attaining these goals has become easier for hospitals since doctors can now keep track of the recovery process more efficiently. Using the data gathered from post-discharge monitoring, medical practitioners are able to identify problematic trends and act on them before they become severe enough to necessitate readmission.
Furthermore, bedside tablets equipped with educative content help patients lead healthier lifestyles after discharge, and this significantly reduces the recurrence of medical problems. They can also be used for entertainment to help them relax and rest to accelerate the healing process.
7. Higher Staff Productivity
By increasing connectivity, telehealth technology has improved collaboration among medical professionals. This has fostered an environment of teamwork within the hospital, which is key for productivity.
Meanwhile, outsourcing RPM management and telemedicine hotlines to third-party call and data centers have freed doctors and nurses from data and call processing duties. Although they are still required to keep close consultation with these centers, they now have more time to attend to patients.
A Bright Future for Clinical Patient Care
Telemedicine hasn’t solved all healthcare problems. However, it has proved to be a useful tool for enhancing patient care in modern medicine. With more healthcare providers adopting this game-changing approach to the medical industry, patient care will only get better.