Within a short span, Telehealth has grown from an option to a necessity for most practices. Astonishingly, the pandemic period revealed how rapidly it is emerging as an effective way of treating patients, having no physical interaction at all. Reduction in the spread of COVID-19 is a by-product of this unique solution.
Telehealth is experiencing a boom in 2020
There is an apparent increase in the demand for Telehealth solutions in 2021, and COVID-19 is one of the driving forces behind it.
But now, according to the latest survey by Black Book & Sage Partners, over 59% of patients are keen on using telemedicine. In comparison, 33% are willing even to change the physicians they are visiting with those who offer Telehealth services.
According to a survey conducted by FindEMR, 35% of providers have added Telehealth services to their practices, especially during lockdown time. 40% of providers are interested, but currently, they are doing some research regarding deployment, while the remaining 25% would not offer Telehealth services.
We can deduce that patients prefer providers offering telemedicine services, so providers should consider introducing Telehealth options.
What are the Benefits of Telehealth services?
There are countless benefits of Telehealth services; it has proved to be a blessing for patients in current situations. They can get efficient treatment remotely, which ultimately slows down the spread of the deadly virus. Also, it helped physicians to survive financially in this trying time.
Here are some benefits of telemedicine solutions:
- Digital patient records: With Telehealth services, providers can finally say bye to their traditional paperwork as it digitizes the paperwork altogether. It’s pretty easy to access patient records and all that. Also, it allows secure data sharing amongst specialists.
- Enhanced communication: Using Telehealth services, physicians can virtually interact with patients, colleagues, healthcare specialists, and industry suppliers. Patients benefit from e-prescriptions as they can share them directly with pharmacies which save queuing time.
- Increased staff productivity: Automated tests of patients’ vital conditions enable physicians to attend to more patients in one day. Staff can manage up to 300 patients at once by using pre-built medicinal alerts in the telemedicine system. By using Telehealth software, a clinician can support the team remotely even from a central ICU monitoring center which boosts staff efficacy.
- Better outcomes: Telehealth enables providers to spot deteriorations in time because of integrated care protocols. This way, physicians can deliver appropriate treatment to patients as soon as they get alerts.
- Reduced healthcare expenses: Apart from all this, Telehealth services boost patient accessibility while lowering healthcare costs. Besides improved productivity, optimal healthcare service, and governments and insurers benefit from this service.
What are the Drawbacks of Telehealth?
- Accessibility: Not everyone has Wi-Fi access or data to avail telemedicine service. Also, for supporting a vast patient base, it has to be available in multiple languages.
- Cyber security and data privacy: Complex IT structure is required for optimal data protection. Government regulations need to be reviewed accordingly to ensure patient confidentiality.
- Lack of hardware and equipment: Not all facilities have the expertise and equipment to enable remote consultations. They have to invest in stuff like telemedicine charts too for conducting proper virtual check-ups outside their consulting room.
Like all other products, Telehealth has its pros and cons, but it is a valuable asset, and the healthcare industry cannot deny its importance.
Role of Telehealth in COVID-19
Telehealth plays a significant role in the current COVID-19 outbreak. Besides screening for related symptoms, it reduces the chance of frontline healthcare providers getting affected. Now when everyone is stuck at home, Telehealth is paving doors to make it possible for patients to get timely assistance from specialists despite these challenges. Apart from that, it enables social distancing, which reduces the risk of spreading the virus amongst people as clinics now have almost empty waiting rooms. Telehealth services lessen staff and resource shortage pressure during this worldwide pandemic by allowing remote consultation and treatment of all patients. Older people benefit the most as they are vulnerable to this virus, and this service mitigates the risk of exposure to Covid patients. According to the Global Market Insights report, the telemedicine market’s value is expected to reach $175.5 billion by 2026. Explicably, Telehealth is here to stay way beyond Covid-19; there’s no denying it. We have laid down five salient reasons that affirm why it’s prudent to invest in this golden technology.
Improved financial returns and stability
1. Better Financial Bearings and Returns
The COVID-19 impasse led to the closure of many medical practices as they couldn’t receive regular patients which put a financial strain on them. However, thanks to Telehealth, practitioners can now continue with regular treatments while maintaining a sufficient income to survive. Telehealth visits have a considerable consultation fee and reimbursements than that in the past. Physicians can now charge the same rate as in-person consultations for their service. Healthcare providers can now offer seamless assistance to patients. Telehealth has a long way to run because physicians are more comfortable using this innovative technology.
2. Less Strict Governing Obstacles
During the COVID-19 emergency, the Government waived many restrictions related to telemedicine coverage, reimbursement, and legislation. Also, many appreciable relaxations were introduced. Telehealth services are now reachable to even patients located in remote areas. In addition, physicians can now use Telehealth services for treating new patients along with existing patients. According to current HIPAA privacy standards, practitioners can now use standard video conferencing apps such as Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom for Telehealth consultations.
Also, the Drug Enforcement Administration has permitted physicians to prescribe controlled drugs in the pandemic period during telemedicine consultation.
3. Advanced Technology
For ensuring optimal health care in a remote environment, Telehealth supports video technology for patient consultation. Even critical patients avail of this service, including those who have cancer, dermatitis, and psoriasis. Chronic patients don’t need to miss their regular appointments or prescription medications. Instead, they can record their vital sign measurements and transmit these automatically to your physicians.
- Blood pressure readings
- Glucose levels
- Heart rate
- Oxygen levels
They can also track sleep patterns and posture via a mobile application. Patients recovering from illness or surgery also benefit from telemedicine solutions. In addition, Telehealth provides mental healthcare services, for counselors, psychiatrists, and psychologists can treat patients with the help of technology. Overall, practitioners can see more patients through virtual healthcare services in a shorter period. Furthermore, patients in remote or rural areas can connect with other cities or states more information to click here working out in joggers.
4. Ongoing Improvements
Digital health is stepping up as an ultimate mix of medicine and technology in such a time. The medical world is also advancing just like technological inventions in other fields. Seeing the transformation of video Telehealth into endless possibilities is reviving.
Telehealth-related devices, and medical equipment, will keep on advancing with time to revive remote consultations. The result? Far-reaching and improved patient care.
5. Future affects
Same as now, Telehealth will continue to help practitioners in the face of future healthcare. It is hard to predict what the world will look like after this Covid-19 pandemic. Embracing the increasing dependence on technology is the key to future healthcare growth, and there’s no denying it. Most probably, patients will now favor practices that offer a combination of virtual and in-office visits in the future because it’s way more convenient. Besides, physicians will be keen on providing these services to patients if they keep receiving payment parity.
If you are a healthcare provider or patient, we’d like to hear your thoughts about the usage of Telehealth for patient care during and after COVID-19.
Share your novel opinion with us below in the comments section.