Everything You Must Know About Telehealth
Technology has had significant impacts on various aspects of life, and the health industry has not been left behind. From using technology to diagnose patients to research and testing, hospitals have also started using it to enable them to meet, diagnose, and treat their patients from home.
Telehealth has come to help doctors manage their patients’ illnesses without the patients having to go to the office. Here are must-know things for people who have not heard much about telehealth.
What Is Telehealth
Also known as m-health or e-health, this utilizes digital communication and information technologies like phones and computers to remotely access health care services and manage illnesses. Some of its goals include:
- Availing health care services and information to people living in the rural and isolated communities plus those with limited mobility, transport options, and time.
- Giving patients access to various medical specialists with a click of a button.
- Improving health care coordination and communication among health care team members, patients, and the patient’s family.
- Providing patients with self-management support.
- Treating people with behavioral or mental health issues who might avoid in-person treatment because of stigma or high cost.
What Can Patients and Doctors Do With Telehealth
Since telehealth brings the doctor to the patient instead of going to the hospital, some things that it helps patients do include:
- Doing a Televisit for clinical trials.
- Recording diet, exercising, symptoms, and medication plus dosing for the doctor or nurse assessment on the next meeting.
- Receiving phone reminders, emails, or texts when they need shots, preventive care measures, or medication.
- Follow-up appointments or assessments when the patient doesn’t need to go to the doctor’s office.
- Monitor the recovery journey for patients who have recently been discharged, had surgery, or have chronic illnesses.
- Telehealth can be helpful for diabetic patients because they can use a mobile app to calculate how much insulin they require based on their exercises and diet.
Patients usually have a portal in their primary health care clinic. These are a safer alternative for patients to communicate with their doctors or nurses about their illness and symptoms. Patients can also request medication refills.
According to Medable, doctors and nurses also use the portal to schedule appointments with their patients and review previous visit summaries plus test results. If the doctor works in a vast healthcare system, patients can access a single communication point for specialists they need to see via the portal.
The Future of Telehealth
While telehealth offers an excellent alternative to in-office treatments, some people still have issues embracing it. To move it forward, specialists must present evidence to patients and medical specialists that it adds value to the patients’ health journey.
They also need to show patients that they can use it for significant health problems and replace expensive doctor visits instead of using it only for mild illnesses.
Telehealth medicine advocates should also crate quality controls to help it maximize its service effectiveness and problem-solving capabilities. Medical professionals should also incorporate telehealth into their practices and recommend it to patients to make the benefits felt more.
Telehealth is an excellent alternative to unnecessary and expensive doctor appointments. It has also helped doctors avail their services to people living far away or who cannot leave their homes. However, experts still need to do a lot of work to ensure telehealth benefits reach more people globally.