Telehealth more broadly is defined as any electronic exchange of health information. Enabling more efficient care models, Telehealth has not only expanded and improved access to healthcare services, but also increased patient engagement. A growing number of healthcare organizations have embraced Telehealth because of the benefits it provides to patients and providers.
A few Advantages of Telehealth are:
- Request a consultation
- Connect with your provider – HD quality Video Visits
- Scheduling and sending Reminders
- HIPAA Compliant Platform
- HIPPA Secure Storage
- Client History and Notes
- Maintain your professional network
- Get assessment, diagnosis, sick note and prescriptions in less time
It was proved at the University of California that using telehealth system is an effective means of improving arm motor status and stroke survivors. Even veterans in the country, whether it is in their home location or anywhere else are provided with telehealth services. The rules are expanding access to the critical care such as mental health to provide faster service through the platform.
There is an increasing number of people suffering from hypertension and depression and other behavioral health disorders, and are recognizing virtual care as answer to their healthcare needs. The better outcomes lead to better coordination. Therefore, treating mental health becomes easier, less costly and will be dishonored when behavioral health treatment takes place virtually.
The telehealth point-of-care testing and digital diagnosis services are seen as the enhancement to the virtual care platform. The latest telehealth platform is to announce an integration to offer digital lab services to its patients and that device is to produce quantitative lab-quality test results that can be transferred automatically to an information system; a remote caregiver service for consultation or an electronic medical record.
The providers can easily schedule telehealth appointments with their patients, and visa-versa. Much of the ‘Telehealth’ lies in accessibility. The lack of access to the care through telehealth can have negative effects on patient engagement and follow-ups. Can safely keep in touch with clients in between visits. iPatientCare has HIPAA compliant messaging system through which the providers can send/receive documents, answer questions or send reminders to the patients that are automatically saved as part of the client’s record.
iPatientCare is built to be HIPAA compliant. Every element is built for storing client data with privacy and security. You are able to upload and download anything from the HIPAA storage. Easily share files with clients at any time without having to locate and upload it from your computer. The client information is secured, accessible and up to date. The providers consult with each other (send referrals) using this secured way. The days of faxing patient records are gone! Before, sending x-rays from facility to facility was known as ‘Tele-radiology’; now that telehealth has gained popularity, and this term is barely recognized.
Even nurses in all practice settings are using telehealth to:
- Deliver Care – Telehealth retinopathy screening program supports early identification of serious eye disease and reduce the incidence of blindness in diabetic patients.
- Provide Education – Rural clinics can obtain continuing education, and can more easily consult with specialists.
- Monitor Client Progress – It is noticed that the timely provision of treatment has effectively reversed the consequences of a stroke that had risen from 15% to 85% due to the availability of tele-stroke programs.
- Access Client Records
- Obtain Information
- foster communication – Telehealth empowers patients to play an active role in their healthcare
- collaboration among themselves their colleagues and their clients
The increased accessibility given by telehealth is beneficial for the patients and providers in all communities. Telehealth can replace or compliment some components that belong to face-to-face health care.
How to apply Telehealth Principles to your practice?
A nurse is responsible and accountable for developing and maintaining the necessary competencies to provide telehealth care. iPatientCare assists your practice and staff with the following:
- Understand consent, privacy, confidentiality, nurse-client relationships and documentation.
- The practice should be aware of all the policies related to providing telehealth services
- There may be different policies related to different states and provinces.
- Consider ways you use telehealth to enhance and improve care and service for patients
- Recognize when telehealth is not appropriate to meet a patient’s needs.
- At the end of telehealth encounter, be sure to provide the patient with clear direction about any further care required.
- Must inform the patient about any limitations of telehealth services; know the possibility of equipment failure or communication breakdown.
- Inform the patients if voice and email messages are not closely monitored. Be explicit with patients about alternative ways of obtaining care, especially in urgent situations.
- Take precautions to protect personal information by identifying any potential breaches in patient confidentiality associated with using telehealth.
- Must participate in developing, implementing, evaluating and improving all the aspects of telehealth.
Telehealth and allocation of care – for example, in the middle of the night if a child needs attention, the parents choose to visit Emergency Room, they are ensured the wellbeing of their child, but that may create unnecessary costs for their visit. The Telehealth transforms the above decision making and provides immediate treatment through virtual consultation and avoids unnecessary doctor visit.
In this manner, the patient diagnosed and treated earlier often have improved outcomes and less costly treatments as the specialists can serve more patients using Telehealth Technologies. Patients with Telehealth supported ICU’s have substantially reduced mortality rates, complications, and hospital stays.
In this fast-paced digital era, we are bombarded by discussions of Telehealth and how it can satisfy patients and the providers at the same time. Never the less, telehealth is leading to the more efficient allocation of healthcare resources, and better care at lower cost. With ever-changing Healthcare system, and having cost burdens, this certainly seems to be a fundamental transformation. Telehealth is emerging as a critical component of the healthcare crisis solution. Some of the challenging problems of the healthcare system such as – access to care, cost effective delivery, and distribution of limited providers is going to be significantly impacted by Telehealth. It is here to change the current ways of care given by the providers, and improve health outcomes at low costs.
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