When it comes to health care, usually people look for convenience. Especially in this prevailing COVID-19 pandemic scenario, if people get treatment backed with comfort and satisfaction, it can be the best thing that could happen.
Telehealth adoption among hospitals and health systems is on the rise—up from 54% in 2014 to 85% in 2020. Telehealthcare services are increasingly getting popular with many healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs) that are increasingly committed to telemedicine.
According to a study by Vidyo, Inc found that “More than 75% of respondents are currently operating or planning to launch telehealth services”. Not only this, telehealth ranks as one of their top four IT investment priorities; two-thirds of respondents plan to spend 20% or more of their technology budget on telemedicine solutions alone.
Before we discuss deeper on the impact of telehealthcare services let us understand what exactly is telehealth.
What is telehealth?
Telehealth refers to the implementation of digital communication technologies, such as video and voice calls, live chat, etc. in order to access and manage health care services remotely. By using digital technologies, it can be used by patients as well as doctors to improve health care support services.
Telehealthcare is a blessing in disguise to both – ‘In-patients’ and ‘Out-patients’ ensuring a higher level of satisfaction and a better experience. Using telehealth services, from video/phone calls to a secure chat environment, to connect with your own doctor goes much further to improving health outcomes.
Key reasons why telehealthcare is being accepted globally
Undoubtedly, patients look for convenient healthcare but even more valuable is when telehealth is merged with the familiarity of your own service provider. When patients are connected with the doctor whom they know or visited earlier, it creates an unforgettable experience for them.
Here are the main reasons for rising of telehealthcare services:
Conversation with the known doctor
One of the greatest benefits here is that patients get connected to familiar doctors who have a basic understanding of their health history. They can coordinate better care based on the knowledge of the patient’s diagnosis. It improves customer satisfaction and delivers a great healthcare service experience.
Benefit for both in-patients and out-patients
Telehealth services bring a sigh of relief to both the category of patients. The in-patients are the ones who are the first-time entrants whereas the out-patients are those who have received previous treatment or undergone some surgery and are making a follow-up. Both the categories get the benefit of getting care and advice on health depending upon the severity by staying at home itself.
Saves time and effort
In this busy life, a lot of time is wasted in traveling to any place as a hospital. Also, for a senior person, it can be a bit uncomfortable or panicking as well. Telehealth for hospital outpatients empowers patients to reach out to the familiar doctors, right lying on the comfy bed. They can guide with ‘what-next, without the hassle of traveling to the hospital and getting high on seeing other patients around.
7 Top benefits of telehealth for hospital outpatients
As we are aware by now that telehealth is a mandate for hospitals to enhance the healthcare standards and stay ahead at the edge of competition. There are many ways telehealthcare for hospital outpatients are being privileged and experiencing an advanced level of healthcare benefits.
Let us dive into the details of telehealth for hospital outpatients.
#1. Accessible patient care
According to Cisco global survey, “74% of patients prefer easy access to healthcare services over in-person interactions with providers”. Telehealth for hospital out-patients is a great advantage in the time where convenience has become the key.
By adding virtual care to your healthcare services, you offer the patients a simple yet popular care without wasting time and cost in making in-person visits to the hospitals. It is the best option for those patients who live in remote locations, who are homebound or are not able to take out time from busy work schedules.
Patients can easily access healthcare services virtually by mankind use of video conferencing, smartphone apps, live chat, and online management systems. These technologies are capable of connecting more patients with providers than ever before.
#2. Extended specialist & referring access to physicians
Telehealth services are a boon to the patients in rural or remote areas. It provides quick benefit and more convenient specialist access to them. As per rural health web survey, “Every 100,000 rural patients, there are only 43 specialists available”.
The patients in the rural areas endure longer appointment commutes and have trouble accessing lifesaving consultations for specific diseases or chronic care plans. Telehealth for hospital out-patients is not less than a blessing as it has transformed the face of healthcare benefits.
The out-patients are benefited with better access to more specialists depending upon. Also, you can refer your patients to the specific physicians they need, regardless of location. This helps to get the best diagnosis from the expert doctors across the globe.
#3. High level patient engagement
As simple as it is – When patients are committed to their own healthcare objectives, it results in lower costs and improved health. According to Healthcare IT News, “the high cost of disengaged consumers affects everybody.”
When doctors are able to engage their patients through telehealthcare services, there is a great ease in maintaining appointments and schedules care service. The increase in the patient engagement initiatives can also curb obesity rates and tobacco use by helping you to encourage your patients’ healthy lifestyle choices.
It is not that virtual visits reassure patients that their providers are available and involved in their care, but it also makes it much easier for them to reach out with questions, report early warning signs, and make a follow-up appointment to make sure they are on the right track.
#4. Better quality care for patients
A KPMG survey found that “31% of healthcare organizations use video-based telemedicine surveys, with another 44% planning to add these services”.
Telehealthcare focuses on patient-centered approaches, such as improved timeliness of care, which is a critical factor towards quality patient care. Patients have the authority to report healthcare issues quickly with real-time urgent care consultations and learn about treatment options within minutes.
Allowing the out-patients with such flexible services in real time remarkably scores lower for depression, anxiety, and stress, and results in fewer hospital admissions. The patients being in their comfort zone can get a blueprint of the diagnosis.
#5. Ensures top level data privacy
The modern healthcare services come with the challenge of data being hacked or being misused. Data privacy is one of most important aspects of telehealthcare for hospital out-patients as well as in-patients.
The patient’s data is crucial for all healthcare providers. Hospitals adopting telehealthcare services report that it is highly secured and safe. It ensures tight security to the patients diagnostic history and treatment details.
#6. Remote Patient Monitoring
With the variety of advanced technologies, healthcare providers enable a care team to monitor a patient’s health remotely. The four common applications are as follows:
- Devices that measure and wirelessly transmit data to a care team; examples are blood pressure and lung function.
- Wearable devices that automatically record and transmit data; examples are blood glucose levels, heart rate, physical activity, tremors, and sleep patterns
- Web-based or mobile apps for uploading data to a care team; an example is blood glucose readings.
- Home-based remote monitoring devices that detect changes in routine activities; examples are excessive sleep and falls.
#7. Save the conversations into the electronic medical records (EMR)
While the doctors are conversing with the patients, if they simultaneously do not update the data, there are chances that they might miss out some essential points. In order to maintain data accuracy, telemedicine should not be a standalone software. It can be easily integrated so that it can function parallely with the EMR software.
This will make the healthcare services authentic and save time for the doctors, which in long run improve their productivity.
Telehealthcare for hospital outpatients is going to be the future with enhanced fixes for healthcare problems.
- With a focused laser, it will efficiently and safely seal a leaking blood vessel and add some long-term and critical deficiencies of our system.
- There will be better access to specialty care for rural patients, reduction in readmission rates, more effective management of chronic diseases, and increased patient – physician satisfaction.
- With the evolving technology behind telehealth continues to improve. It will bring better clarity in audio, video, and more reliable software.
About Net Health
Net Health is reuniting caregivers with their calling through cloud-based software for specialty medical providers across the continuum of care. Net Health’s interoperable EHRs deliver end-to-end solutions that ensure compliance, improve outcomes, empower providers and inspire care. The company serves over 14,000 facilities, including 98 percent of the largest hospital chains, two-thirds of skilled nursing facilities and many leading hospice organizations and private practices. Net Health is a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, Level Equity and Silversmith Capital Partners.