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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Understanding the Benefits of Telehealth

The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a wake-up call for the public and professional organizations regarding what matters. Healthcare providers continue to face a number of unique challenges, including balancing quality patient care with updating policies and procedures for personnel protection and support. In light of these challenges, telehealth has gained considerable momentum.

The term “telehealth” refers to the delivery of healthcare services through technology. Various aspects of healthcare can be included in this, from remote monitoring of vital signs to conducting medical visits over the Internet. This term encompasses a broader scope than telemedicine, which is limited to providing healthcare remotely. The provision of telehealth services also includes the training and retraining of healthcare professionals.

Benefits of telehealth

The use of telehealth systems has many benefits. The benefits of telehealth extend not only to the patient but also to physicians and hospitals. The following are some of the significant benefits of telehealth:

1. Provides Comfort and Convenience

Telemedicine eliminates the need for patients to travel to a physician’s office or clinic, drive, park, and wait in a waiting room for appointments.

Whether at home or on the road, you can schedule an appointment with your physician anytime. A virtual visit may be more convenient to accommodate your busy schedule.

A telemedicine session may not require you to take time off from work or make childcare arrangements, depending on your schedule.

This is one of the most compelling reasons why the future of telehealth looks promising. We all lead busy lives, and sometimes delays in our healthcare appointments result from our hectic schedules. The convenience of virtual visits offered by telehealth helps eliminate this problem.

2. Improves Patient Outcomes

By using telehealth options, care teams can assess their patients more accurately, thus reducing the risk of infection.

Educating patients about their treatment plans is more feasible. With the aid of digital tools, like an appointment scheduling platform and video conferencing, patient communication can be more direct and flexible, thus improving overall patient satisfaction.

Furthermore, a physician or member of the care team has the opportunity to observe the patient’s environment. Let’s take the example of an allergist.

A virtual visit allows them to identify clues in the patient’s surroundings by meeting with them in their home.

The care provider can identify issues the patient may not have previously mentioned and formulate a more effective treatment plan based on this information.

3. Increases Cost-Effectiveness

While the cost of telehealth varies by specialty, it tends to be substantially lower than the cost of in-person visits. Telehealth prevents scheduling mistakes, staffing issues, and various other clinical issues, leading to significant cost savings.

Patients generally benefit from lower provider costs, particularly during the initial consultation. Additionally, telehealth allows patients to avoid the costs associated with traveling to treatment facilities, such as gas, parking, and bus fare.

4. Enhances Health Care Efficiencies

It is important to note that telemedicine and telehealth should not be used to replace traditional in-person treatments or to serve as a substitute for an effective doctor-patient relationship. In fact, it should contribute to its improvement.

A doctor provides primary care during an in-person visit. Still, they can also provide additional care through checkups, follow-up visits, and educational sessions via remote telehealth.

5. Builds Patient Base

Patient no-shows or late arrivals have always been frustrating aspects of in-person care. Healthcare professionals lose time and miss an opportunity to reach out to a new patient.

Let’s imagine now that a doctor’s day is booked with virtual medical visits. This will increase treatment success, reduce no-shows, and enhance persistence.

Since telehealth provides easy access and scheduling, the provider’s patient base will likely increase significantly.

According to a cross-sectional study, 52.5% of clinicians believe virtual visits provide greater efficiency without compromising the quality of care.

Promoting telehealth solutions can increase patient numbers for healthcare providers and allow your hospital to expand its catchment area quickly and easily. The issue is particularly relevant in countries where most of the population resides in rural areas.

6. Improves Management of Chronic Conditions

Telehealth can be critical in remote care management programs for patients with chronic conditions. The use of telehealth consultations can help providers manage the care of patients who are more likely to develop serious illnesses.

Medical professionals can use at-home monitoring devices to detect new symptoms, deteriorating health, and signs of an impending emergency. As a result, people can get quick interventions, potentially saving their lives.

7. Improves Patient Engagement

A study has shown that patients participating in their healthcare are more likely to experience positive outcomes and lower healthcare costs. Patient engagement requires making access to care easier for patients.

Telehealth enables patients to be more involved in their healthcare by providing care at their convenience without traveling to the doctor’s office.

The use of online technologies such as patient portals, online scheduling, and online bill payment has expanded access to healthcare to all who have access to the Internet.

Healthcare has become more accessible to a wider range of people, including the elderly, as medical services are now available to them at the touch of a button.

Most healthcare consumers also expect digital interactions to assist them in receiving healthcare when and where they need it. By providing care that meets consumers’ expectations, telehealth enhances patient engagement.

8. Reduces Physician Burnout

The practice’s physicians will benefit from telehealth as it has been proven to decrease stress, increase productivity, and improve work-life balance and mental health.

A doctor conducted a study in which they found that telehealth visits typically lasted eight minutes, compared to in-person appointments lasting as long as twenty minutes.

By reducing appointment time, physicians and clinicians can optimize their schedules, and patients can experience greater efficiency during their appointments. 

Wrapping Up

Telehealth provides numerous opportunities for improving the delivery of healthcare through innovation. During the pandemic, most providers turned to telehealth to provide safe care to their patients.

It is now essential that providers assess their proficiency with telehealth in order to determine how they intend to integrate it into their practices in the long term, such as for the management of chronic diseases or low-acuity care. 

Despite the positive outlook for telehealth, several concerns still need to be addressed, including a lack of standard protocols and specifications and insurance coverage issues. However, even though these concerns are valid, they should not prevent telehealth from improving healthcare access.

HBC Editors
HBC Editorshttp://www.healthcarebusinessclub.com
HBC editors are a group of healthcare business professionals from diversified backgrounds. At HBC, we present the latest business news, tips, trending topics, interviews in healthcare business field, HBC editors are expanding day by day to cover most of the topics in the middle east and Africa, and other international regions.

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