Telehealth is one of the major trends of healthcare today. Through advances in technology and communication, the need for travel and other resources are significantly reduced, and both health care professionals as well as the patients themselves are able to reap the benefits.
There are a lot of advantages for hospitals to implement telehealth in their organization, and we are only scratching the surface of what this paradigm is able to offer us.
Here are some of the benefits that telehealth provides all sectors of the health industry, along with some of the methods by which telehealth is able to make these benefits possible.
What Does Telehealth Provide?
Telehealth, through a combination of hardware, software, apps, and the Internet, can provide a myriad of services and functionalities that simulate the services that a doctor, physician, or hospital can provide while also speeding up the operations within the health care industry such as setting up appointments, providing subscriptions, or consulting with specialists through video conferencing apps.
Functionalities that are often included in modern telehealth applications include but are definitely not limited to:
- Remote Consultations
- Online Health Portal
- Mobile Patient Portal
- Health Tracking Apps/Wearables
- Online Ordering of Prescriptions
As technology pertaining to telehealth develops, so does the scope by which this business model covers. This also means better and wider benefits for all concerned.
The Benefits of Telehealth
Telehealth provides a huge number of advantages or doctors, patients, hospitals, and the like. Here are some of the most common ones that you will encounter and enjoy if you ever select this type of medium for health care.
Reduces Overhead Costs
The automation of numerous tasks when it comes to telehealth means that less manpower is required to perform tasks. The need for secretaries, record keepers, and other workers will be reduced as a system can process, archive, and retrieve information much faster.
In fact, patients and doctors themselves can input and get the information that they need with just a few clicks, eliminating the need for a middleman to get it for them.
The reduction of manpower as well as the time that it takes to perform rudimentary tasks translates to lower overhead costs for hospitals and clinics. This means that there will be a huge amount of savings which translates to higher potential revenue.
Minimizes Turnaround Time
Automation has sped up operations for hospitals. However, it is the patients that benefit from this as this means that they would be provided with the required services that much faster.
This means that waiting times will be significantly reduced and, in some cases, they can simply do their waiting at home. Checking in via kiosks or setting appointments with a specialist or for tests can also be done without physical interaction, and orders for prescriptions can be filled and ordered for delivery and pickup as well.
Especially for those with conditions that reduce mobility or require them to be quarantined, as well as for those that require immediate attention and cannot afford any delays, telehealth is certainly a blessing as it helps in saving a huge chunk of time and is pretty convenient to use as well.
Accurate and complete data can literally spell the difference between life and death. By providing up to date and centralized information that can be retrieved completely and instantly, telehealth helps in providing doctors with everything that they need to know about the patient such as allergies, medical history, treatments done, and the like.
For administrative work, billing and appointment schedules are likewise aligned and can be retrieved from the same source. A centralized system also eliminates the need for patients to repeatedly input data as everything can be acquired from a central database for use by different departments. In addition, they can be assured that said data is up to date at any given time.
Reduces the Need to Travel
Due to the ability of patients to be able to consult with doctors through teleconferencing, face to face communication by traveling to the doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital is now a thing of the past.
A lot of time is saved through e-consultations, and this translates to travels costs as well. In addition, this helps in a way to reduce carbon emissions as well as provides further protection for patients that require limited travel.
Better health care can also be provided as patients can schedule multiple appointments that can be done online. As such, patients will no longer be limited by matters such as logistics in order to get checked up by their doctor.
Reduces the Cost of Health Care
As hospital expenses are reduced, they can pass on the savings to their patients. Those who utilize telehealth can drastically reduce the cost of health care by as much as fifty percent.
This makes health care that much more accessible, financially speaking. Patients can get a much higher level of health care at more affordable costs, and the health care industry can actually treat more patients which would translate to higher revenues despite the reduction in cost per treatment.
Improves Quality of Health Care
Due to up to date monitoring of patients as well as the ability to handle more appointments, patients have reported that they are much more satisfied with their health care providers once they have switched to telehealth.
Early diagnosis and treatment is much more possible, and the health care system is much more accessible than ever before.
Video-conferencing capabilities and patient portals make the entire process much more efficient and effective, and this translates to doctors and patients achieving their mutual goal of ensuring the good health and well-being of the public.
This applies even to areas with limited health care facilities and personnel as these services are much more accessible to them to a certain degree.
As technology evolves, we can expect more features that telehealth can cover. This would also mean that patients will get even more benefits from this rapidly developing technology, which would, in turn, provide us with even higher levels of medical care that we desire and deserve.