More and more health systems across the country are making telehealth — specifically HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing systems available to their patients for primary care video visits; is yours among them? Perhaps it should be. But why? And how?
Why are so many American health systems embracing telehealth as a new model of care? And how will doing so affect and improve the operations of your medical office?
The benefits of implementing telehealth solutions are innumerable — for your patients, for your medical practice, and for the good of the public health in general.
Deliver a better experience that will retain and attract patients.
Patients tare — steadily and consistently, incredibly so — pleased with the care they have been able to receive via videoconferencing. Such solutions increase the availability of after-hours care; they reduce wait times, and travel times, and the associated costs therein. This high satisfaction then only leads to be a better overall experience, and a happy patient is a patient who will choose to stay with his doctor. Likewise, telehealth capability may attract new patients beyond the immediate vicinity of your office.
Reduce hospital admission rates.
Hospital readmission rates are high, too high; this is alarming not only for the health of the patient but also because of the cost. Telehealth is a welcome solution to a big problem, as its use can help reduce admission rates by enabling doctors, care managers or pharmacists to see patients over video for follow-up care and care management for chronically ill and post-surgical patients.
Cut costs through more preventative outreach.
As the health insurance industry changes, and more patients are covered under alternative or value-based reimbursement plans, medical professionals are forced to find new ways to manage the needs to their chronically ill patients. Telehealth technologies (such as those videoconferencing solutions offered by SecureVideo) better facilitate convenient ongoing monitoring for those at-risk for hospitalization, keeping patients as healthy and costs as low as possible.
Improve clinical outcomes.
Patients who are afforded the opportunity to become active participants in their own care have significantly better outcomes, and telehealth technologies do just that. Connecting patients directly with their physicians and caregivers improves the individual experience, yes, but also bolsters their levels of compliance with medication and post-discharge instructions, and ultimately leads to a healthier, happier public.
Have you considered implementing a HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing solution?
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It sure seems like a hassle to schedule a doctor’s appointment. You have to take the morning off from work; figure out how to get the kids to school at the same time you’re supposed to be in the exam room; drive to the other side of town in morning rush hour traffic. Ugh. But hold on a second.
Imagine if you lived in a rural area, and instead of a 30-minute drive to the doctor, it took you four or more hours to travel to your appointment. Instead of a half-day off work, you would have to take the whole day off; think of the lost wages, and what you’d have to pay a child care provider, and the transportation costs. This is the unfortunate reality for the nearly 80 million Americans who live in rural areas, because though these rural dwellers make up a quarter of the country’s population, only 10 percent of the nation’s physicians live, and work nearby.
But technology has developed a solution; that solution is telemedicine.
Telemedicine is profoundly transforming the ways in which rural Americans receive care; how healthcare professionals provide that care; and in the wake of the Affordable Care Act, the ways in which standards of quality and efficiency are measured.
As the number of telemedical tools available on the market continues to grow, so do the benefits and advantages of a technology destined to most profoundly impact those living in rural America.
Telehealth means better care, and less expensive travel for patients. HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing solutions such as those offered by SecureVideo make it simple and easy for care providers to see and treat patients remotely, from their homes or into satellite offices. Instead of being forced to wait days or weeks for an appointment, care can be given almost immediately with less inconvenience.
Telehealth means patients can more easily access specialty medical services. While primary and specialty care is often difficult to access in lesser-populated communities, this is even more true for behavioral and mental health services. Telehealth and videoconferencing solutions increase crucial access to psychiatric care.
Telehealth builds community, where rural citizens can interact with their urban peers. Doctors help patients — it’s their job — but sometimes what a patient needs isn’t necessarily a health professional, but a curated session with others who are going through, or have gone through a similar situation. Telehealth technologies connect geographic communities and allow for easier dialogue without increasing costs to the healthcare provider.