Numerous healthcare organizations have opened their doors for telehealth, as it is benefiting to both patients and their providers. Telehealth has helped to expand and improve access to most of the healthcare services. The biggest advantage of telehealth services is that it provides easy access to on-demand care. The patients do not have to drive for hours to reach the nearest hospital or specialists as telehealth services have brought rural communities quite close.
How do patients benefit?
Telehealth is providing high-level of benefits across the healthcare ecosystem. Many patients have got great support whenever there is a change in their employment and they had to move from one place to another. They do not have to worry about changing their providers as they can continue their ongoing treatment with the same provider or specialist from wherever they are located. Telehealth allows the providers for more frequent follow-ups, thus providing more convenience to their patients. In other words, it allows patients to join the tele-visit. For example, the system should display “waiting for the provider” when the patient has joined and the patient has not arrived; and visa-versa.
The patient gets privilege to be in a virtual waiting room and view videos uploaded by the practice, while waiting for the provider to join. The other facilities that iPatientCare telemedicine provides are:
- Facility to chat and upload files
- Facility to share the screen
- Able to view list of all participants who have joined the call
- Displaying the duration of the televisit
Telehealth also gives prompt action by giving quick treatment for the patients who are remotely monitored when a potential problem is identified and prevents any catastrophic event. Telehealth gives better outcomes because of their timelier access to specialists who can apply the highest standards of care associated with their clinical discipline when evaluating their patients. In this manner the patients can get the best care with the least amount of inconvenience, as telehealth has brought in major progress in the healthcare system.
Telehealth services have reduced hospital readmission rates as the in-practice visits and overnight stays at healthcare facilities has drastically reduced. Many hospitals have some form of remote monitoring that helps the patients to get faster diagnosis and on-going treatment monitoring from any location. By providing wearable devices or other wireless technologies to the patients, the providers are easily able to monitor vital signs and symptoms and adjust care as needed without in-office visits.
How do the providers benefit?
By reduced costs, increased access to primary care, and improved health outcomes, telehealth had transformed the healthcare system. Rapidly there is fundamental transformation of how healthcare is delivered throughout the nation. Telehealth can be advantageous to the providers in order to help more patients. The providers can also use the extended range to identify their patients in remote areas, who require care. When providers use this remote consultation facility, it reduces the transit time between the facilities, which in turn increases productivity of the practice. This tele-consults directs patients, who are in need of tertiary care directly to underserved facilities. Some of the facilities that iPatientCare telemedicine provides the providers are:
- Facility to indicate that the call was successful
- Permits to save meeting schedule in the providers’ calendar
- Telehealth medicine notifies the patient in advance by call or text message or email using – iRemind
- Telehealth also notifies to either patient or the provider when one person has joined the call and the other has not, such notifications are called – SignalR
- It permits to generate a report for Telehealth usage. Where the report includes – date, time, duration of call, status of call
- It also gives facility for multiple users to connect when there is a crucial issue to be discussed
- Telehealth system also permits to collect charges from patient before and after the call
- The system records the call locally and are not recorded and saved on the server
One of the biggest advantage of telehealth services is that, it is easily available on demand. During telemedicine consultation, patient can inquire about symptoms, discuss treatment and also find out if prescription is necessary or not. Most importantly this remote access has shown a huge quality of life improvement as, elderly patients do not have to rely on transportation or struggle with other mobility or disability challenges. Telehealth services have helped fill gaps in rural communities across United States.
iPatientCare’s telemedicine features are all HIPAA compliant, as all the patient provider conversations should remain secure. Also sharing of information with other specialists also remains confidential. All the patient data and their history of illness is safe and secured within the system.
There is some latest development in telehealth that enables the Navy hospitals to treat respiratory infections, sprains, insect bites and give proper diagnoses and also monitor the treatment. Veterans are also able to accesses telehealth services from mental healthcare to surgical specialists. Telehealth or in other words Virtual health has helped improve patient access to care, improving efficiencies by minimizing treatment delays and expediting referral processes. Telehealth has also progressed in psychological health and field care, facilitating continuity of care for patient-centric homes (PCMH). It supports the primary care providers, by minimizing the number of specialists required to be staffed.
It is important for all the specialists to get proper knowledge when it comes to telehealth so that there is minimum transfer of knowledge required. Along with external (ambulance, medical taxi) costs, telehealth reduces costs of admissions or readmissions when patient is transferred from one facility to another. Due to this, many nursing homes have video conference calls with the providers/specialists so that reporting time is reduced. It also reduces staffing costs for rural facilities. With help of telehealth it is now easier to lean on the entire network for support rather than relying on staffing locally, and it has improved communication between regional facilities. There are few chances of making the rural facilities more attractive to medical professionals, so the continuity of care also contributes as huge benefit for the patients and the professionals. It is clear, telehealth has a strong return on investment across the entire healthcare ecosystem.
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