In places where healthcare can be inaccessible due to cost, location, and lack of workers, telemedicine and telehealth are emerging solutions to help eliminate these issues. In the industry, telemedicine can be used interchangeably with telehealth when describing this service. However, some healthcare professionals will use “telemedicine” to relate a specific scope of work such as diagnosis and monitoring services.
What do Telemedicine and Telehealth mean for patients?
Because the e-visits are brief and can be conducted from anywhere, patients do not need to worry about taking time off work or enduring a long commute for basic healthcare. Whether the e-visit is done through a phone camera or laptop, the convenience of telehealth means that seeing a doctor for minor and major issues is a stress-free and affordable endeavor.
What do Telemedicine and Telehealth mean for health professionals?
With the virtual communication telemedicine brings, practitioners can now closely monitor their patients without having to keep them under physical surveillance. These health professionals also save time carrying out this process, because their patient’s current blood pressure, oxygen levels, and heart rate are just one click away.
The bed space that is freed up from these patients who need to be monitored – but are not in dire circumstances – also allows for more emergency patients to receive readily-available care. With telemedicine, practitioners can see a large number of patients per day in a small amount of time, and the time they’re saving can be devoted to other suffering patients who desperately need every spare minute.
Telemedicine and Telehealth Specifically for Hospitals
Because more patients can be seen throughout the day in small, 10-minute bursts, nursing shortages that hospitals are currently facing can be solved with this easy-access care. Patients who would otherwise go through a lengthy process of being recommended to specialist after specialist can now be directed to the health professional they need in a fraction of the time. Specialists working at hospitals are now more easily accessible to these patients whose health may be worsening each day they wait to be paired with the practitioner that specializes in their disease. Telehealth makes the doctor finding process smoother and cuts out unnecessary appointments.
Actions Hospital Executives Need to Take
Telehealth is still a growing solution. Most healthcare organizations have telehealth in place for their self-insured employee population but have found it difficult to scale to health plan members and to their general community. Hospital executives have multiple options to grow their telehealth business and create connections to patients in a new way. Identifying an implementation strategy and understanding the costs is an important next step in expanding the service line. When telehealth is available to the general public, time, money, and lives can be saved.
A future glance into Telemedicine and Telehealth
In 2020, we are already seeing changes in the healthcare industry that is allowing telemedicine to expand its reach. Insurance agencies are now adding this service to their coverage plans. Students who are currently seeking healthcare degrees are being trained in the latest telemedicine practices. More and more healthcare professionals are reacting positively to the benefits that telemedicine brings, but unfortunately, this service is not getting implemented as much as it could be.
Telehealth has come a long way since its inception, but there are still milestones this service has yet to cross. Current changes in the industry are paving the way to make telehealth more readily available, and this process can be sped up easily if more healthcare executives become aware of this groundbreaking communication solution.
At Soriant, we are following the latest updates for telemedicine and telehealth. We are going to be devoting our future articles to spreading more helpful information about this new service. We are here to help healthcare professionals fit telemedicine into their current budget with our hospital consulting services. Contact us today to see how we can help you improve your patient care. 770-777-6633