With the continued advancement in communication technology, telehealth has been gaining popularity in the healthcare industry. In 2018, it was estimated that more than seven million Americans used telehealth for some aspect of their medical care. This brief blog will examine what a telehealth program is and highlight several qualities exhibited by successful telehealth entities.
Telehealth is defined as the administration of healthcare services over communications devices such as mobile phones and computers. Doctors participating in a telehealth program can discuss specific ailments with their patients and, in certain instances, may even have the capability to diagnose and treat said conditions through online interactions. Telehealth benefits both physicians and their patients in ways including but not limited to reducing rushed office visits, eliminating patient stress associated with visiting the doctor’s, eliminating a patient’s transportation costs and, when applicable, reducing the need for lengthy or pricey examinations.
As beneficial as such an entity can be, however, successful telehealth providers exhibit certain qualities patients and consumers should lookout for including:
Communication is critical to any doctor-patient relationship. Patients rely on the physician to be open and honest about all pertinent aspects of their health. Physicians who participate in telehealth need to be particularly effective communicators to prevent the information said professionals are disseminating from becoming misinterpreted or poorly understood.
Successful telemedicine providers are accessible and available to their patients. A telemedicine patient might need to discuss important issues on a weekend or after office hours.
Granted, telemedicine is designed to served patient needs from long and far away. However, like any business or organization, telehealth providers are situated in a home base located in a specific region. While successful telehealth providers will offer a wide array of programs and services to patients, said professionals should also be sensitive to specific community needs. For example, if the medical institution in question is located in a region with a large senior citizen population, said entity might include programs and services that benefit elderly persons.
Telemedicine providers are well served to ensure that communication capabilities are compatible with numerous technological devices. In today’s world, most everyone possesses a mobile phone and performs several notable functions on said contraption. Ensuing your communications are “mobile friendly” may significantly boost a medical institution’s telehealth outreach.
Many patients find the stress of a doctor visit worse than the condition precipitating the need for one. Such individuals might choose telehealth as a viable alternative. In these instances, successful providers should focus on creating a safe, calm, friendly environment that puts the patient at ease.
Telemedicine providers accepting different forms of payment might enjoy a wider patient base. Not all patients can afford to pay in cash out of pocket. Participation in reimbursement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and accepting private insurance is a valuable method of increasing a program’s viability and ultimate success.