How Telehealth Improves Patients’ Lives
July 10, 2018
Telehealth (also known as telemedicine) is a broad term used to describe the delivery of various health-related services and information using telecommunications technology. It includes remote patient monitoring, remote specialist consultation and counseling via videoconferencing. Telehealth is not a new specialty niche in the medical field; it is simply a new set of tools that can be used to provide better service and care to patients. Today, we want to take a look at some of the ways telehealth can improve the lives of your patients.
Improved Access to Quality Health Care
Many aspects of the healthcare field are becoming increasingly specialized. This specialization often leads to improved outcomes, but it also limits the access many patients have to the care they need. Patients who live in rural settings may have limited physical access to specialists or specialty services. Through telemedicine, specialist health care providers can expand their reach and impact the lives of people who don’t live nearby.
The care provided through telehealth services is consistently equivalent to or better than that given in more traditional consultations held in person. In fact, according to the American Telemedicine Association, “In some specialties, particularly in mental health and ICU care, telemedicine delivers a superior product, with greater outcomes and patient satisfaction.”
Reduced Long-Term Costs
The unfortunate truth is that chronic medical conditions mean long-term costs. In most cases, effective management of a chronic medical condition like diabetes, high blood pressure or various mental illnesses requires symptom monitoring and prescription medications at the very least. Additionally, patients with these types of conditions often need access to specialized medical professionals. If there isn’t a specialist near where they live, it can mean even more money spent on commuting or traveling. Telemedicine can reduce healthcare costs for many of these individuals and improve the long-term management of their medical condition through remote symptom monitoring, reduced travel times and fewer or shorter hospital stays.
Faster Diagnosis and Treatment Possibilities
Many telehealth organizations provide access to doctors via telephone or the Internet. Often, these healthcare professionals are able to provide diagnostic analysis without the patient needing to be present physically. This can save a lot of time and prevent the loss of hours worked in many instances. A telehealth consultation can be completed in a fraction of the time it takes to visit a family practice physician. Quick and effective treatment can be critical to a person’s health.
Greater Independence for Many Patients
Many elderly patients, or those with chronic health conditions, are in need of regular monitoring for their own health and safety. The ability to remotely monitor these patients means that telehealth can often provide them with increased independence by allowing them to live in their own home. These monitoring tools can also be used to identify if a person has fallen or if they are experiencing a pre-defined problem.
As the telehealth industry continues to grow, it will continue to improve lives worldwide. If you have questions, we’re here to help. Contact us today to speak with a telemental health specialist who can answer your questions.