How Telemedicine is Being Leveraged to Improve Access for Patients

Telemedicine

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Telemedicine — using video, software, and other telecommunications to provide healthcare services remotely — has become an essential tool for healthcare providers. Telemedicine offers patients increased access to care and can improve outcomes by using a provider’s digital records. Telemedicine also streamlines workflow, resulting in lower costs. This blog post will explore how telemedicine is leveraged within healthcare organizations and its potential benefits for patients.

Behavioral health professionals seeking to broaden patient access and quicken physical health colleague collaboration can benefit from telemedicine’s real-time client data accessibility. Has the general telehealth experience become even more beneficial as a result of virtual visits for encounters?

Does telemedicine enable mental health clinicians to provide real-time client data access and facilitate physical health colleague collaboration? This question has been on the minds of many professionals. Can virtual visits for encounters become even more advantageous for telehealth services?

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine allows a healthcare provider to consult with a patient remotely. It is one of the ways that healthcare is being transformed by technology. The provider may be a doctor, nurse, therapist, or allied health professional. The patient could be at the home, clinic, or emergency room. Telemedicine can be used both to diagnose and treat patients. For example, an allergist can diagnose a patient with an online allergy test. A dermatologist can use a telehealth system to perform a virtual biopsy. One of the most popular telemedicine services for patients is remote monitoring. It allows patients to track symptoms, receive advice, and get prescriptions from a provider remotely.

How is Telemedicine Used within Healthcare Organizations?

Telemedicine can be used in many ways to provide better care for patients. A critical area of growth for telemedicine is remote patient monitoring. It allows patients to track symptoms, receive advice, and get prescriptions from a provider remotely. Remote monitoring can be helpful for patients with chronic conditions, who often have to visit the emergency room to get prescriptions. Remote monitoring can also help provide continuity of care. For example, a patient may be able to see a provider at a clinic instead of an emergency room after a car accident. Remote monitoring can also be used for certain types of urgent care. When there is a need for urgent care and the closest provider is hours away, patients can be connected remotely to other providers who can help.

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Behavioral Health Providers are Facing Difficulties with Patient Access.

Healthcare professionals are concerned about the lack of patient access. In big cities or nearby suburbs, patients can choose from hundreds of therapists, doctors, hospitals, and clinics, but many behavioral health providers and facilities are at overcapacity. Patients in rural areas often have limited physical and mental healthcare options, with limited access resulting from fewer healthcare professionals being available within a reasonable driving distance. Treatment logistics are challenging, and scheduling appointments is difficult, leading to limited access.

This is where online therapy comes in handy. Getting to an in-person encounter becomes increasingly difficult for those seeking therapy who have inflexible work or family care schedules. It often increases the number of no-shows and decreases billable hours a practice can monetize.

What is Covered by Mental Health Telehealth?

Throughout the pandemic, mental health conditions have been the most common diagnosis via telehealth nationally.

Telehealth delivers mental health benefits through internet-connected devices by providing video conferencing or audio transmissions to therapists. In addition to in-person interactions, clinicians can communicate with patients via secure text messaging and email and send/receive encrypted files.

Hucu.ai is a HIPAA compliance healthcare application that offers secure video conferencing, text messaging, and sharing files through cloud-based secure data storage that can be accessed from anywhere. 

People with mobility issues can benefit from their healthcare providers using the Hucu.ai application to have their vitals virtually monitored.

There are still some instances where an in-person office visit is necessary or preferred, even with the remote’s convenience. A virtual visit is an option that includes the following benefits:

  • Physical contact is limited, which reduces the chance of being exposed to COVID-19 as well as other infectious diseases.
  • Healthcare services are available wherever doctors and patients are.
  • Access to specialists across multiple geographical areas.
  • Reducing travel time, as well as the time off from work and accommodating childcare requirements.
  • There is a less waiting time before an appointment.
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Psychological Therapy Access via Telemedicine is Approaching a Novel Solution.

Telemedicine is expanding offsite access to patients’ mental and physical health information in real-time, including the following:

  • Live (synchronous) videoconferencing is a two-way audiovisual link that connects patients and healthcare doctors, also known as virtual telehealth visits.
  • Store-and-forward (asynchronous) videoconferencing. Stored video of health history forwarded to a health practitioner, typically a specialist.
  • Remote monitoring of patients (RPM): electronic tools connected to collect medical and personal health information in one place for review by a doctor in another place, usually at a different date and time.
  • Mobile health (mHealth): Health and information about public health accessible via mobile devices. It could contain general information on education, specific messages, and notifications regarding diseases causing outbreaks.
  • Chronic care management strategies: Provide patients with integrated treatment throughout their visits to their primary healthcare provider. TeleTEAM Care for Diabetes Program includes the services of therapists who specialize in behavioral therapy, clinical pharmacists, as well as medical diabetologists.
  • Emergency treatment: Patients can consult with specialists in real-time, and they can give evaluations to local professionals to receive emergency treatment.
  • Monitor your home: This type of service allows patients to stay at home while they manage their medical treatments, at a minimum, between appointments.
  • Inpatient care units (ICU): ICUs powered by telemedicine offer 24/7 surveillance by specialists and critical care nurses for patients with serious illnesses. Patients can stay at their residences.
  • Lang-term-care: These services provide specialized healthcare to the elderly population who reside in facilities for long-term care which are not accessible due to their rural locations.

According to the Harris Poll, all these services have allowed patients to receive treatment in a way that would not have been possible without the development of telemedicine. Providers should consider adding this access to their service portfolios. Patients prefer telehealth services over in-person interactions when they are available, and 74 percent of patients agreed.

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Drawbacks of Telemedicine

The biggest challenge of telemedicine is that it requires careful oversight. This is because patients and providers who work through telehealth systems sometimes rely on them too much. As a result, they don’t explore other treatment options that might be better for them. Remote monitoring can also result in patients’ “doctor shopping.” They may get different prescriptions from several providers, potentially resulting in dangerous drug interactions. Remote monitoring can also pose risks for patients who are on blood thinners. Remote monitoring requires less oversight than in-person visits. These patients may not get the level of attention they need. Telemedicine can also be more expensive than traditional medical care. For example, patients with chronic conditions who get prescriptions and monitoring remotely may end up paying more than if they saw the provider in person.

Conclusion

Telemedicine has great potential to improve the quality and affordability of care. But it needs to be carefully monitored because it can pose risks for patients as well. Telemedicine is an important tool in transforming healthcare by being driven by technology. It can improve access to care, improve outcomes, and lower costs.

It is crucial to choose the right Telehealth service provider for your health; a wrong or hurried decision might cause suffer your or your family’s health. Hucu.ai not only offers HIPAA secure instant messaging for use within your facility, but It also allows users to securely connect with your network partners, patients, and approved family members of the patient all in one system. It can also be integrated with your EHR to enhance the efficiency of your staff. Hucu.ai has built-in capabilities to streamline communication between colleagues working in different settings and treating identical patients. Hucu.ai offers users real-time data analytics that includes patients’ understanding, user engagement reports, the performance of partners’ transparency, and more! In addition, Hucu.ai offers self-service sign-up that allows new users to be familiar with the application in just a few minutes rather than having weeks or months of figuring it out before actual use.

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