Digital technologies enable us to reinvent the physician appointment as a house call without the journey. The virtual visit concept has been around for decades, and telemedicine has been used in a variety of specialties and service lines, ranging from primary care through radiology, cardiology, and orthopedics.
Telehealth benefits both primary care and specialty care providers, allowing them to expand their reach and treat patients anytime if there is an Internet connection. Health systems have usually started telehealth platforms because they have the financial resources to invest in massive equipment kiosks and sophisticated digital technologies.
Telehealth applications are now available as software-as-a-service (SaaS) and are as good as a face-to-face doctor to patient – smartphone. Today’s telehealth platforms don’t demand large upfront expenses and instead come as part of monthly subscription packages that are both safe and HIPAA-compliant.
Let’s take a look at the top ten advantages of telehealth programs for patients and healthcare professionals. How might these new SaaS models help doctors find new ways to serve their patients?
Telehealth’s 10 Advantages
Promotes the development of new business concepts
By improving consumer-based care, telehealth as a commercial model is changing the paradigm. “Specialists are now discovering that they may create their own telehealth platform to consumers, offering their services online much like a banker, real estate agent, or other businessperson,” according to an article from HealthIntelligence. Clinicians can use telehealth to expand their patient base beyond physical locations, extend hours, and create new and more convenient models for their patients.
Remote monitoring improves patient engagement.
Because of the growing importance of consumerism and value-based reimbursement in healthcare, hospitals and health systems are emphasizing novel ways to contact with patients in order to encourage them to engage in self-care. Clinicians must teach patients how to care for themselves between visits in order to treat them proactively. With the rise in chronic health disorders, medical professionals are turning to telehealth for remote monitoring as a method to improve outcomes while lowering costs. Today, telehealth is used to report patient data from the patient’s own home, while remote teams work as a coach and counselor as they involve patients in their own healing path.
Provides more patients with access to care.
We all know there’s a physician shortage on the rise; telehealth can help us extend our provider networks in innovative ways to increase access to care. Telehealth can be utilized to reach patients who live in rural areas or who are not served by traditional healthcare institutions. The technology can be utilized for both midlevel patient education and physician diagnosis, allowing you to reach out to a new group of people.
Promotes practice efficiency and enhances clinical workflows.
Telehealth has the potential to improve clinical workflow efficiency. By gathering, storing, and using patient data for better medical decision-making, it can act as a conduit for faster prioritizing of care delivery, triaging each case, and improving communication. Telehealth is a component of some of the highest performing practices in our country, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). These techniques can aid in performance enhancements, such as raising patient satisfaction scores.
Increases revenue for the practice
Telehealth saves time for both the patient and the physician, in addition to lowering overhead costs each session. Physicians can bill for unpaid phone calls while also extending their hours to capture additional billable time through telehealth. Telehealth can help a clinic become more efficient by reducing no-shows. With new models of treatment, telehealth can potentially provide a competitive advantage, attracting and retaining more patients.
It lowers the practice overhead.
Unlike costly hospital systems, SaaS telehealth solutions are relatively inexpensive to set up. A telehealth visit, on the other hand, is far less expensive than typical on-site visits. An emergency hospital visits costs an average of $1,734 and a visit to a local doctor’s office costs an average of $146. A telehealth visit, on the other hand, costs an average of $79 each visit.
Saves money for patients
Our patients invest a significant amount of money and time in their healthcare. The doctor contacts the patient by phone, laptop, or other digital device during a telehealth appointment. Consider how much travel, parking, childcare, and time away from work can add up. The extra effort required to get to a distant doctor’s facility can be stressful, but the costs can quickly pile up.
Enhances the quality of healthcare
Telehealth, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), enhances healthcare quality, particularly in rural areas. Because technology can improve service delivery and treatment of acute diseases, this is a healthy investment. Telehealth is also being used to avoid unnecessarily frequent visits to the emergency room. It also makes therapy more convenient by allowing patients to obtain care without having to travel large distances.
Reduces the number of patients who do not show up for appointments.
No-shows had become a substantial revenue cost center for the organization, and the quality of care had suffered as a result, especially on follow-up visits. The targeted service line improved no-show rates by 50% when they expanded treatment via telehealth.
Patient satisfaction has improved.
Patient satisfaction is an important telehealth performance measure. According to a patient survey conducted by the nationwide CVS Minute Clinics network, up to 99 percent of patients were satisfied with their telehealth appointment.
Telehealth is gaining popularity.
Telehealth will be used by seven million Americans by the end of 2018. That figure was 350,000 just five years ago. eRemede is a health engagement platform that was developed to empower patients throughout their care, from their initial visit to recovery. Our HIPAA-compliant, secure telehealth platform gives Florida patients access to instant communication, appointment reminders, innovative aftercare tools, and more.
Isn’t it time to try and improve your practice with eRemede’s demo in action now!