Telehealth Healthcare

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Could Telehealth Save the American Healthcare System?

Patient and Provider Benefits of Telehealth

Telehealth is transforming the American healthcare system by ensuring patients receive optimal care at the right time through the right provider. Patients are finding easy access to a variety of healthcare services via various forms of telecommunication, like videoconferencing and electronic consultations.

It’s now easier than ever to navigate the healthcare system thanks to telehealth.

Telehealth Statistics

Year 2017

65% of hospitals offered telehealth services
13% of hospitals were in the implementation stage of offering telehealth
12% wanted to offer telehealth but didn’t have adequate resources
10% didn’t consider telehealth and didn’t have resources

Jeff Robbins, MD, director of telehealth and neurodiagnostics at Tift Regional Medical Center says, “We understood [telehealth] was the future and we needed to be a part of this technology that could get our patients to the specialists that they needed to see 200 or more miles away.”

Without Telehealth:

Patients are limited in regards to the healthcare services they can access without telehealth.

  • Patient visits a local hospital.
  • Patient receives diagnosis based on a single physician’s assessment.
  • Patient receives local treatment options.
  • Patient must travel to a local pharmacy to pick up prescriptions.
  • If local treatment options are not available, the patient must arrange transportation and lodging services to receive healthcare services from a long-distance facility.
  • Many patients cannot afford travel and lodging, and forego necessary treatment.
  • Patient must return to the hospital for follow-up visits.

With Telehealth:

Patients enter into a new era of healthcare possibilities with telehealth services.

  • Patient consults with local physician via real-time e-visits.
  • Patient data is documented and stored in the cloud, allowing optimal diagnostic capabilities.
  • Predictive analytics are used to recommend healthcare treatment plans.
  • Prescriptions are called into local pharmacy and delivered to patient’s home.
  • If local treatment options are not available, patient can use e-consultations to receive assessments from long-distance specialists.
  • Patient doesn’t have to travel and doesn’t have to forego necessary treatment.
  • Patient uses videoconferencing to complete follow-up visits.

Benefits of Telehealth

For Patients:

  • Convenient access to healthcare services and on-the-spot specialist coverage through video conferencing and audiovisual interactions
  • Cuts travel time and transportation expenses
  • Increases engagement and improves access to healthcare records with cloud-based document sharing
  • Reduces wait time
  • Reduces healthcare expenses with lower-cost settings

For Providers

  • Attracts and retains new patients
  • Differentiates themselves from competitors
  • Cuts travel time and expenses
  • Lowers the cost of healthcare services by achieving optimal operational efficiency
  • Better diagnostic capabilities with cloud-based sharing of healthcare records

Specialty Applications That Strongly Benefit from Telehealth:

  • Psychiatry
  • Stroke Patients
  • Pediatrics
  • Neurology
  • Radiology

Tools Necessary for Telehealth Are Easily Accessible

Telehealth is growing in implementation because the necessary tools are already owned by most patients and providers.

Smartphone Ownership by Age:

18-29: 92%
30-49: 88%
50-64: 74%
65+: 42%

Use of Smartphone Tools

Camera – image capture – for teledermatology store and forward

Video – audio-visual conferencing – for primary and urgent care virtual visits

Bluetooth peripherals – manual biometric data collection – for monitoring Congestive Heart Failure and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease patients

Telehealth Benefits All Healthcare Settings

Telehealth is saving the American healthcare system because it can be used in almost any healthcare setting. It has already been adopted in the following settings:

Inpatient: 63%
Outpatient: 45%
Primary care: 30%
Emergency: 22%
Post-acute: 10%

Over the next few decades, telehealth will likely become adopted in the majority of correctional facilities and schools.

As telehealth becomes more widely adopted, patients are enjoying favorable outcomes, reduced waiting times, increased access to health services, and lower medical costs. Telehealth truly is saving the American healthcare system. To learn more about how you can access telehealth services or implement them at your practice, visit www.onlinemedicalcare.org.

Telehealth

Sources:
https://www.aha.org/system/files/2018-04/fact-sheet-telehealth-2018.pdf
https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/telemedicine-innovation-rural-health-system-keeping-more-people-alive-lower-costs
https://www.advisory.com/research/market-innovation-center/resources/2018/telehealth-industry-trends