Telehealth utilizes communication technologies in enhancing the support and delivery of health education, public health, and healthcare. Its forms include remote patient monitoring, store-and-forward, and live video conferencing. All of these have the common goal of delivering virtual education, health, and medical services.
Telehealth is becoming more popular because of the following benefits:
1. Allows Remote Monitoring
One of the most known benefits of telehealth is the remote monitoring of patients. This feature is the best virtual care solution offered by various platforms. If patients decide not to stay in healthcare facilities to recuperate from their medical conditions, they can still receive treatment from their healthcare team at home. They can use various technologies to monitor the patient, such as the following:
- Home Monitoring Devices: These are used for older patients or patients with dementia. Doctors can detect changes in patients’ daily activities, including the detection of slips and falls.
- Wearable Devices: These devices transmit and record information such as sleep patterns, physical activity, tremors, blood glucose, and heart rate.
- Mobile Or Web-Based Apps: These apps allow patients to upload their information, such as blood glucose readings, to their physician.
2. Reduces Patient No-Shows
Patient no-shows delay care for patients and cost more for providers. Healthcare providers can lose revenue and productivity if patients don’t appear during their appointments. It may also cause difficulty in accommodating new patients since they have to reschedule.
Sometimes, one can’t blame patients for not showing up for various reasons. These can include economic struggles that make patients hesitant to show up for fear of hefty expenses. For elderly patients, they may find it physically challenging to leave their homes for a medical appointment.
Some even dread medical appointments because of long wait times. And recently, the coronavirus pandemic caused hospitals to limit the number of patients who can visit due to the risk of contamination.
But with telehealth, healthcare providers can deliver care to their patients even from afar. Patients can attend virtual appointments wherever they are, which offers convenience for both parties as well.
Aside from that, impatient patients don’t have to wait for hours in the clinic. They may have to wait for an hour or so, but virtual medical appointments allow them to wait at home comfortably. Most importantly, people can virtually meet up with their doctor without the fear of acquiring the virus.
3. Decreases Costs
It’s a given that patients have to spend money for transportation when going to the hospital. As a result, they lose money that they can spend on medicines instead.
The telehealth system reduces these expenses since they can use their laptop, phones, and other digital devices to consult their doctor. It’s even more helpful for patients from rural areas, who may need to travel overnight or a whole day just to reach a healthcare facility. Travel costs can be burdensome to many aside from the hassle of traveling far.
4. Improves Clinical Workflows
Since telehealth uses modern and up-to-date technology in healthcare facilities, this can increase efficiency in clinical workflows. It captures and stores patient data, which can improve decision-making and communication among the healthcare team. They can also access patient information in real-time.
The team gains quick access to lab results and other medical information of the patient during the consultation. Patients don’t have to go to the doctor’s office, and the doctor can present and explain the results remotely as well. They only need to upload the data in their system, and the doctor can immediately see the necessary information.
Technology can now be considered indispensable, especially in the healthcare industry. Digitalization allowed healthcare providers to monitor patients and conduct medical checkups virtually. Patients can now receive the healthcare they need even in the comfort of their own homes. Telehealth also makes workflow more efficient for healthcare providers. As a result, they can assist more patients and attend to more critical tasks and cases.