Healthcare and medicine are at crossroads.
There are challenges facing the industry – an aging population in need of greater care, demands for lower cost treatment options, and a lack of specialists and doctors especially in rural areas. Healthcare leaders are looking for solutions, and not more complications.
That’s where tools like telemedicine and telehealth can help. In this article, we’ll look at how forward-thinking leaders in healthcare are leveraging telehealth and telemedicine to overcome challenges and deliver benefits for patients, providers while growing their business.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is an alternative healthcare delivery option that utilizes telecommunications technology to aid in the treatment of patients. It provides quality care when in-person visits are impractical or impossible, promoting easy access to healthcare and regular contact between doctor and patient.
Typically, telemedicine focuses on clinical services that don’t organically exist within a community, examples include medication checks, a consultation with a specialist, or a follow-up appointment to name a few.
What Are the Benefits of Telemedicine?
Today, healthcare facilities are successfully using telemedicine to improve health outcomes in a number of areas, including:
- Follow-up Appointments: Many patients don’t see the need for a follow-up appointment, leading to higher readmission rates and compromised treatment outcomes. Telemedicine sessions are more convenient for patients, reducing missed appointments.
- Preventive Care: Preventive care can increase the overall health of patients and significantly reduce national health spending, but many patients aren’t using preventive care. Telemedicine can help by providing convenient blood pressure screenings, wellness checks, support for weight loss programs, and more. Patients get the support they need on a schedule they can manage, and doctors can identify healthcare risks early, improving health outcomes.
- Interhospital Transfers: Without a standardized process for patient hand-offs, transfers are a common source of medical errors. Telemedicine transfers, or teletransfers, improve the collaboration and communication between facilities during transfers, improving the overall patient care and outcomes.
- Chronic Health Management: Chronic diseases are costly, with heart disease alone expected to cost more than $230 billion in medical expenses and lost productivity in 2020. Telehealth facilitates the connection between patients suffering from chronic conditions and the medical specialists that can help – no matter the distance between them. Patients get the care and support they need, helping mitigate the skyrocketing cost of care.
These are a few of the telemedicine benefits healthcare systems and patients are realizing. Many healthcare facilities and practices are customizing their approach to telemedicine for their patients, finding ways to best use the technology for their needs.
These professionals are directly addressing the challenges facing healthcare with telehealth, telemedicine, and the latest telecommunications technology. The goal is simple – greater access to the best care possible.
Implementing Telemedicine at your Facility
Telehealth and telemedicine directly address many of the challenges facing healthcare today.
We’ve covered only a small sample set of possible use cases for telemedicine. With planning, the right approach and the right technology, telemedicine can reduce costs for both patients and providers without reducing the quality of care. It can better connect the skills and experience of doctors with the patients that need them most, no matter where they are located.
Forward-thinking healthcare providers are embracing the advantages of telemedicine. They will continue to find innovative applications of the technology to extend the reach of healthcare to new patients.
Contact Innovator Health, leaders in telehealth and telemedicine, for a free consultation to see how telemedicine can benefit you.