The Effects of Telemedicine on Patient Engagement and Care Options
Telemedicine is booming, and healthcare organizations neglecting these technological innovations are missing out. If their delays are rooted in hesitations around implementation challenges, however, it’s understandable — we’re already in a time of increased burnout among doctors and nurses, and no one wants to add more to their already full plates.
It’s important to consider the big picture, though. Though telehealth implementation necessitates an initial time and money investment, the long-term benefits far outweigh these. But to make the most of these benefits, staff must be on-board with telehealth. Telehealth implementation is, at its core, digital transformation. And any digital transformation requires a strong change management plan.
Strategically Implementing New Technology in Telehealth
Understanding the resistance to telehealth adoption means empathizing with the worries and concerns of staff. For executives, this may mean justifying the initial cost of implementing telehealth technologies. For staff, it may mean acknowledging that our healthcare workers are already tired and addressing concerns that learning a new technology could take away time better spent caring for patients.
Thus, it’s important that we can articulate exactly how telehealth improves patient care and how those improvements benefit the business’s bottom line. At AMD, we see this work best when it’s communicated by a champion user (or two) who understands both staff pain points and the benefits of the technology. After all, peer-to-peer learning is incredibly effective.
These champions can make or break a program, so be sure to address their concerns and needs first, include them in the vetting process, and make sure the technology will relieve their challenges. These champions help teach the staff exactly what technology is being implemented, how it will be used, and — most importantly — how this will improve both their workflow and patient outcomes.
After all, telemedicine initiatives make a huge difference in the quality of healthcare organizations. Telehealth technology in hospitals provides better assessments, primary care, and chronic condition management, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. It also reduces the monotony of the job — often, workers want to stay in the field but vary from their typical routines. Research from Harvard Business Review found that monotony increases stress and burnout in the workplace; offering telehealth alternatives could help with staffing and make work more efficient. But those aren’t the only benefits of telemedicine.
Two Key Benefits of Telemedicine Today
Telehealth technology is changing the way healthcare works by removing physical barriers and allowing patients to speak with a medical professional from the comfort of home, at work, or wherever they may be. While we’ve noted the benefits for healthcare professionals, however, it’s important to note a few key benefits of telemedicine for the patients using it.
1. Better Patient Engagement
Telehealth streamlines workflows that can drain a lot of time, money, and resources. This not only makes the business run more efficiently but also makes patients happier. A recent COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition survey found nearly 80% of telehealth patients were satisfied with the continuity of care they received.
This continuity helps retain patients during their long-term care. It also encourages them to return for more appointments and consider additional services. They are also more likely to check into your facility for inpatient treatment. Studies show that as little as a 5% patient retention rate can lead to a 95% increase in ROI.
2. Expanded Care Options
The more care avenues a facility has, the better off it is. Expanding your available care options through telehealth options provides a new way for patients to engage with your business. At-home care is proven to raise patient satisfaction while decreasing the cost of care by 38%. Further, acutely ill patients have a 20% lower mortality rate when treated at home.
Remote care reduces costs for transportation, readmission, and even Medicare penalties, too. This makes it an economically efficient way to expand the facility’s offerings without hiking up expenses.
Improvements in telehealth are making care more accessible and engaging for both healthcare professionals and patients. It’s becoming the “new normal” and should become a mainstay of holistic, integrated care. Facilities that implement it properly will see major returns.
Getting started with telemedicine has never been easier, thanks to AMD’s AGNES Connect platform. It connects remote providers and patients for a virtual exam with integrated medical devices that help clinicians to detect, diagnose, and treat medical conditions accurately and more efficiently.