Advantages of Telehealth

An Overview of Telehealth Technology

Telehealth Technology refers to the process of providing healthcare for patients via a remote technology platform. The use of telehealth technology has increased in recent years and is now used by various healthcare professions. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare professionals have reported an increase of between 50 to 175 times the number of patients accessing telehealth technology. This increase has correlated with the development of new telehealth platforms to provide remote healthcare options for patients and practitioners. The benefits of telemedicine are widespread and include reduced wait times, increased accessibility, and comfort and convenience for both the client and practitioner.

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What can you do with telehealth?

What can you do with telehealth?

Telehealth is used by various professions, including mental health workers, occupational therapists, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, general practitioners, and chiropractors. Telehealth technology allows patients to receive the healthcare they require from the comfort of their home, while healthcare practitioners ensure they meet the same professional standards that are accepted in person. Common features of telehealth include appointment scheduling, clinical documentation and notes, electronic health records, and medical billing. These features are always applied using HIPAA standards to ensure the patient’s safety and confidentiality.

What are the benefits of using telemedicine in healthcare?

Using telemedicine in healthcare often has benefits for both patients and practitioners. Some of these key advantages include: 

  • Increases Accessibility: Many individuals may not have easy access to healthcare. People living in rural areas will likely have limited access to certain professions, especially specialized ones. Accessibility can also be limited for individuals with physical disabilities or inhibited mobility. 
  • Efficiency: Telemedicine increases the efficiency of healthcare for both patients and practitioners. It allows for help in appointment scheduling for practitioners and patients and provides reliable appointment reminders and calendars.
  • Reduced Costs: Using telemedicine in healthcare has been associated with reduced costs for private practitioners and companies. An online platform may mean a healthcare facility needs less administrative staff and other overhead expenses. 

Decreased Risk of Infection: Particularly important since the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telemedicine reduces the risk of infectious illnesses. By conducting appointments online, practitioners can prioritize their health and deliver telemedicine safely from a distance.

How does telemedicine help patients?

There are significant benefits of telemedicine for patients, as the use of online healthcare platforms can eliminate barriers that prevent people from seeking the professional help and support they need:

  • Mental Health Support: COVID-19 restrictions have reduced the number of mental health support facilities open to their patients. Telemedicine allows people to continue their appointments with counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists, regardless of physical restrictions. 
  • Childcare: Telemedicine eliminates the need for sick parents and caregivers to take their children with them to appointments and remove the additional cost of childcare. 
  • Physical Therapy: Patients needing physical therapy can be supervised by practitioners while staying within their own homes. Recuperation and recovery, assisted by exercises and activities, can be achieved more quickly.
  • Reduced Costs: The cost of telemedicine is often more affordable for the patient than the cost of in-person healthcare, and some telehealth practitioners don’t require comprehensive health insurance. 
  • Accessibility: Importantly, telemedicine can be delivered to people living in rural areas who don’t have access to specialized healthcare professionals. Telemedicine allows people access to specialized practitioners at any time of the day, significantly reducing wait times.
How does telemedicine help patients?
Who does telehealth benefit the most?

Who does telehealth benefit the most?

The advantages of telehealth are extensive and serve to benefit both patient and practitioner equally. Telehealth eliminates barriers that prevent them from seeking healthcare for the patient, including financial pressures and accessibility. In turn, practitioners benefit through improving efficiency, removing unnecessary overhead costs, and working from the comfort of a home environment. All telehealth platforms secure patient information safely, abiding by HIPAA standards. This ensures that telehealth guarantees safe, private, and effective healthcare solutions for anyone, despite the lack of in-person appointments. 

Benefits of telehealth during covid

As mentioned previously, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in the number of patients and practitioners accessing telehealth services. Telehealth allows individuals who are displaying symptoms relevant to COVID-19 to access professional support without risking others. The reduced risk of infection also allows practitioners to look after their health and wellbeing. Further, COVID-19 has led to significant life changes that heavily impact mental health. Telehealth eliminates the barriers that have been put in place during the pandemic by allowing individuals to access different mental health care professionals and obtain the support they need.

What are the pros and cons of telehealth?

The various benefits of telehealth that have been addressed in this article include increased accessibility and efficiency, reduced costs, and general convenience and comfort for both the patient and practitioner. As discussed, these benefits have been especially notable given the current COVID-19 climate. Nevertheless, there are certain disadvantages and barriers associated with telehealth: 

  • Loss of Physical Tests and Screenings: Certain medical tests and screenings require a physical interaction when using telehealth, including pap smears, visual assessments, mammograms, and measuring blood pressure. Practitioners are incapable of examining patients themselves and instead must rely heavily on self-reports.
  • Children: It can be challenging to maintain children's attention who receive certain health services, including speech therapy and counseling.
  • Security: Although all telehealth platforms are HIPAA-compliant and the collected data is encrypted, information stored online can sometimes be at risk of being hacked or lost. 

Conclusion

Telehealth technology services have increased significantly in recent years, and this article discusses the various advantages of using telehealth for both patients and practitioners. Features provided by telehealth services generally include appointment scheduling and reminders, clinical documentation, and medical billing. 

These features can be observed in the telehealth service provided by Carepatron, which additionally utilizes secure data protection and HIPAA-compliant standards.

Further Reading:

What are the pros and cons of telehealth?

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