Telehealth clinics are seeing an increase as time is passing, which may be due to COVID-19 or convenience as people prefer using telehealth clinics rather than making an appointment for in person visits. It saves cost for both the clinic and patients which is why telehealth is being considered as one of the tools to expand the healthcare industry on an even wider scale. Telehealth and technology go hand in hand, the more innovative ideas are introduced, it will be more convenient for practices to operate efficiently. However, before deciding whether your clinic needs telehealth extensions, you should do your homework on what telehealth is, why telehealth is important, and what role will technology and telehealth play in the future to benefit the healthcare industry.
Telehealth is the utilization of digital data and innovative technologies, for example, laptops and cell phones, to be able to provide medical care services remotely and deal with patients’ healthcare. These might be tools patients use from their home or that a practitioner uses to improve or maintain the quality and effectiveness of medical care services via the establishment of telehealth clinics.
The objectives of telehealth clinics incorporate the following:
- To make medical care open to individuals who live in provincial or secluded areas, expanding the access of health care services through the amalgamation of technology and telehealth.
- To make services quickly accessible or available for individuals with restricted portability or any disabilities, time, or transportation restraints.
- To provide access to medical specialists and experts which otherwise may take more time or be more difficult to gain.
- To improve correspondence and coordination of care among individuals from a medical services organization or practice and a patient via telehealth clinics, making it more convenient for the medical front office employees as well.
- To assist in management of medical services and reducing the overall burden on employees and staff members, this will also result in a more productive workflow, employee satisfaction, and less chances of error which is why telehealth is important.
Telehealth clinics now give virtual appointments that allow patients to see their doctor or a medical caretaker by means of internet videoconferencing. These appointments make it easy for patients to get continuous care from their usual doctor when an in-person visit is not needed or convenient for the patient which is why telehealth is a preference for many remote patients. Other virtual appointments incorporate “visits” with a doctor or medical caretaker through the premise of technology and telehealth. These services are usually for minor problems, like the services accessible at a general clinic. Some organizations give access to virtual doctors’ workplaces as an aspect of their medical care contributions as well.
Doctors can likewise use technology and telehealth innovations to provide better care to their patients through telehealth clinics which is why telehealth is feasible. One model is a virtual discussion that permits general care doctors to get input and opinions from specialists when they have inquiries regarding a patient’s diagnosis or treatment, consider it as a second opinion or confirmation on an already formed diagnosis. The general practitioner can send notes, patient history, test results, scans, or X-rays to the specialist to survey. The specialist may provide opinions online, direct a virtual meeting with you at your doctor’s office, or recommend an in person meeting to get better insight into the patient’s condition and that is the miracle for telehealth and technology. An online individual health record system is an assortment of data about your patient’s health that you control and update constantly. In case of a problem, an individual healthcare record can rapidly give doctors and their staff the fundamental data, for example, current diagnosis, current and past medications, drug hypersensitivities and the patient’s doctor’s contact information. This is why telehealth saves a lot of time which can make a difference between life and death when it comes to healthcare.
Aside from telehealth clinic extensions, through technology and telehealth’s collaboration several applications have been made to assist patients and customers in general with recording their medical data in one secure spot. These advanced devices may support a patient in:
- Recording individual healthcare data.
- Recording crucial symptoms or aftereffects.
- Finding and track caloric admission.
- Providing regular updates and reminders for taking medication.
- Recording physical activities, for example, patient’s everyday step check.
The ability of telehealth clinics:
Technology and telehealth can now improve the nature of medical care services provided and also make it accessible to more individuals with a better customer base for practitioners. Through telehealth clinics, practitioners can make medical services more productive, better organized, and closer to home for the patients and themselves.
While technology and telehealth along with its utilization are not new, its widespread adoption as telehealth clinic extensions with reference to patients and doctors has been considerably slow. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, patterns show some enthusiasm for utilization of telehealth clinic services by both doctors and patients. However, ongoing changes during the COVID-19 pandemic have decreased potential and existing barriers to telehealth and have advanced the utilization of telehealth clinics as an approach to convey essential healthcare which is why telehealth should be considered by your practice too. Telehealth clinics can likewise improve patient health outcomes.
Telehealth clinic services can encourage general healthcare relief techniques during this pandemic by assisting with social distancing. These services can be a more secure choice for your practice and patients by decreasing possible exposures to infections. They can decrease the strain on healthcare frameworks by limiting the flood of patients in clinics and simultaneously diminish the use of PPE by healthcare suppliers making technology and telehealth essential. Keeping up with the continuity of care to the degree conceivable can dodge potential negative results from delayed care. Remote admittance to healthcare services may increase the participation of individuals who are medically or socially unable or who do not have access to healthcare suppliers due to a number of reasons. Remote access can likewise help safeguard the patient-doctor relationship on the occasion when an in-person visit is not reasonable or plausible during the pandemic.
This technology and telehealth clinic services can be used to:
- Screen patients who may have the symptoms of COVID-19 and refer to a suitable treatment by the practitioners
- Provide patients with lower risk care needed urgently to non-COVID-19 conditions, distinguish those people who may require extra medical discussion or assessment by specialists
- Access essential healthcare suppliers and experts, including mental and physical healthcare, for persistent problems and management of their medications
- Give training and assistance to patients managing chronic illnesses, including weight management and nourishment charting
- Take an interest in the physical therapy and different modalities as a mixed approach to deal with in-person healthcare strategies via technology and telehealth
- Screen clinical indications of certain ongoing medical conditions
- Take part in individual case management for patients who experience issues getting access to healthcare (for example the individuals who live in extremely difficult settings, older people with problems to commute, those with restricted movement)
- Keep up with patients after hospitalization to understand their conditions
- Provide advance care by assisting and guiding patients and caregivers to report inclinations if a medical emergency occurs, telehealth clinics will be available to report to
- Provide training and education to practitioners and clinical staff through technology and telehealth’s combination in medical conferences that are not locally accessible, especially in provincial zones
Ways to increase the adoption of telehealth clinics through the amalgamation of telehealth and technology:
- Advance and streamline the use of telehealth services for the healthcare of patients while using the Framework for Healthcare Systems Providing Non-COVID-19 Clinical Care to decide when in-person care is appropriate and when it is unnecessary.
- Incorporate choices for language translation.
- Speak with insurance agents/agencies to comprehend accessibility of secured telehealth, telemedicine, and relevant healthcare services.
- Use tele-emergency techniques for evaluating and thinking about all patients to decrease the volume of people looking for care in clinics and hospitals, particularly during seasons of high transmission of infectious illnesses, for example, COVID-19.
- Provide access to patients with restricted technology and telehealth availability and offer adaptability in stages that can be used for video conference, or non-video options, whenever the situation allows and makes it feasible for the patient and practitioners.
What you should consider before choosing a telehealth clinic extension for your practice:
While improved technology and telehealth has potential for better organized care, it additionally risks dividing medical services. Divided care may prompt holes in care, abuse of medical care, wrong utilization of drugs, or pointless provision of care.
The advantages of telehealth clinics may be restricted by different variables, for example, the capacity to pay for them which is why telehealth is still unexplored by many practices. Insurance coverage for telehealth clinics still depends and varies on the state and kind of insurance required. Additionally, a few people who might profit most from improved admittance to care might be restricted in view of provincial internet accessibility or the expense of cell phones hence it is extremely important to consider easy access for telehealth clinics.