When we think about the U.S. healthcare system, we know that things are constantly changing at a rapid pace. New patient care strategies and technologies will continue to emerge with no signs of stopping, enabling and encouraging care improvement across the healthcare sector.
Telemedicine is without a doubt one of the defining factors of the present and future of success in healthcare — and with good reason. Whether your facility just recently started taking advantage of telehealth functionality or it's still relying solely on electronic health records to represent its tech presence, you may not understand how advantageous telemedicine can truly be.
Let's take a closer look at telemedicine benefits; how healthcare organizations can improve virtual care and patient care methods, improve patient satisfaction and more.
Using telemedicine technology for your use case
Creating the path to virtual care in your facility can open many doors for improved care delivery. Some of the common types of telemedicine technologies and use cases include:
- Virtual care visits. A provider can connect directly to a patient via video conferencing, using a synchronous digital platform. This can occur when the patient is in one care setting but the provider is at a different location. Virtual visits are used for low acuity as well as more advanced high acuity encounters that require clinical diagnostics gathered from connected medical devices.
- Appointment scheduling. Patients and healthcare staff can schedule future appointments using digital tools instead of face-to-face consultation.
- Store-and-forward modality. Clinicians have the opportunity to capture, store and transmit medical data and information from a patient visit to a remote provider through the use of an asynchronous platform.
- eConsults. As explained by the American Hospital Association, eConsults involve the discussion between provider and specialist to share information involving a patient to develop a plan of action for future patient care.
- Provider-to-provider messaging. Much like eConsults, this function can be used among healthcare staff as a safe and secure way to communicate and exchange patient information.
Telemedicine benefits for healthcare organizations
The advantages of telemedicine can be seen across the care continuum. Here are some of the specific telemedicine benefits care providers can see as they implement and integrate the technology:
Real-time medical diagnostics
One of the most important factors of telemedicine is its ability to provide accurate, real-time data and medical diagnostics from the patient's location to a remote provider in an instant. This empowers providers to make a clear diagnosis and treatment plan on the spot, backed by quality clinical data.
Improved clinical workflows
Integrating telemedicine technology can revamp existing workflows or properly streamline new ones. As Becker's Hospital Review explained, hospitals and other healthcare facilities can use telemedicine as a means of reevaluating current roles and overall processes with the goal of improving patient care across the board. When coordination improves, it's easier to access information and provide the quality care needed in a timely manner.
Reduced hospital readmissions
It's no surprise that hospital readmissions are a major expense. Telemedicine can be used to combat readmissions, save money and improve patient care overall so they don't have to return for additional care. In fact, a study by Applied Clinical Informatics found that monitoring weight, heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygenation via telemedicine for one year reduced hospital readmissions by 19%.
How telemedicine improves patient care
Improved engagement, increased access to care and enhanced all-around patient care are some of the major advantages of telemedicine from the receiving end of care.
Patient engagement is something worth noting when it comes to telemedicine technology. According to Regenstrief Institute, almost 50% of patients use some form of health IT to communicate with their healthcare providers. This shows a great adoption of technology by patients for accessing healthcare.
When to offer virtual care
Telemedicine can be applicable in many scenarios, but there are certain instances where virtual care may be considered more necessary. Instances where there's a barrier to care, such as situations involving financial hardships or busy schedules, can be solved when telemedicine technologies are involved.
Rural health is one of the top applications to provide virtual care. Someone who lives in a rural area, too far from their care provider, might not be able to access the quality care they need in a timely manner.
During COVID, most health care providers had to implement some form of virtual care to access their patients everywhere. This goes beyond just rural patients to every patient.
Now is the time to take what was learned from the virtual care model you had to quickly put in place, and start planning how telehealth can now be used to reach patients wherever they may be. Patients now know how easy and convenient virtual care is, so telehealth and telemedicine are no longer options, they are necessary tools to retain your patient population.
Take advantage of the telemedicine benefits with AMD
There's no denying that the pathway to care is through digital technology, and telemedicine is here to stay.
At AMD Global Telemedicine, we have decades of experience in helping healthcare organizations and providers implement and integrate telemedicine technology for an enhanced patient experience. With our innovative technology solutions, you can quickly learn how to utilize our digital tools and encourage your staff members to take advantage of the power of telemedicine. To learn more, contact us today.