What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is the word used to describe taking digital information and communication protocols in order to both access and deliver health care services over distances so that you can manage your own health care when not able to go into the doctor’s office in person. Mobile devices, tablets, laptops, and computers make telemedicine platforms available over the Internet. Technologies like this allow you and your patients to keep in close contact so that you can support or improve your existing health care offerings.
How can Telehealth for medical practices help patients?
telemedicine platform for patients has a number of goals. The M-health or E-health goals include each of the following:
- Ensure that health services become more convenient and available for individuals suffering from restricted mobility, transportation limitations, or time
- Allow health care to be more easily accessed by those who are in distant or rural communities
- Offer dependable access and availability to medical specialists
- Provide support to help with health care home management for patients
- Better the coordination and communication of health care between the team members who deliver it and the patients receiving it
Benefits of telemedicine platform in your Practice Today
Telehealth for private practice offers you a number of benefits for your practice today. We look at several of these specifically next.
Ability to Communicate Better with Patients
You can dispatch prescriptions over the Internet to your patient’s email inbox, review the results of tests together and summarize prior office visits, schedule appointments, and offer a single efficient point of communication to your patients for specialists and other medical personnel with whom they need to interface.
Offering a Patient Portal
By establishing for your patients this online patient portal, you give them a handy alternate choice to email that offers greater privacy and security in communications on sensitive private health records and matters.
Providing Virtual Appointments
As a clinic or office that delivers virtual doctor’s appointments, you can see your patients or have a nurse see them via the magic of online videoconferencing via programs like Skye or Zoom. Such appointments make it possible for you to deliver high quality continuing care even when the in-person visit is no longer possible or necessary. Naturally, these services are for minor illnesses and not for significant ones.
Web-based medical services start with patients answering several questions about their health and/or condition. You as the doctor are able to prescribe needed meds, make suggestions for home care options, or even recommend escalating to an in-office appointment for more direct, personalized medical care.
You as a doctor or doctor team are able to use some cutting-edge technologies to do impressive medical monitoring remotely. Among these advanced technologies are the following:
- Devices which can first measure and then remotely transmit the data like lung capacity and function, blood glucose levels, and blood pressure readings
- Mobile-based or web-based apps that allow you to upload patient information like blood sugar readings to your medial offices and computers
- Wearable devices which will auto record and then transmit remotely the information of heart rate, gait, tremors, posture control, blood sugar levels, sleep patterns, and physical activities into the office
- Joint doctor appointments remotely with a specialist that allow you to stay in the loop with your patient’s progress
- Home monitoring devices made for elderly patients or those suffering from dementia that can monitor for changes in routines, including accidents like falls
Doctors Talking With Doctors – Telemedicine for Doctors
You as the primary care physician are able to dispatch exam notes, results, history, X-rays, or similar images to specialists for review. Specialists can respond to you electronically, ask for a face to face meeting, or have a virtual appointment with you in the office. Such virtual consultations can eliminate the costly and time-consuming referral procedures necessary to see specialists, decrease waiting times to get specialists’ input, and cut down on travel that is not needed.
Maintaining More Effective Personal Health Records
Setting up a PHR or Personal Health Record System will enable your patients to have continuous online portal access to their information all about their health. The patient is able to effectively control it and your practice to maintain it in a collaborative joint venture effort. PHR apps are accessible anywhere anytime over the Internet-enabled smart devices like laptops, computers, smartphones, tablets, and even smartwatches now.
This is more than just hip and cutting edged stuff, it can be imminently practical and life-saving even. In emergency room situations, these PHR’s allow for the rapid transmission of a patient’s emergency medical records including their list of mediations, allergies, present conditions and diagnoses, and contact information for the patient’s primary care physician.
Personal Health Apps
There are now countless apps that have been developed and distributed to assist consumers in better organizing medical information and data in a single secure repository. Such digital medical tools can assist with:
- Storing your patient’s personal health care information
- Calculating and monitoring calorie intakes
- Recording essential vitals
- Scheduling reminders so that medication doses are not inadvertently skipped
- Recording different physical activities like your patient’s daily step count
“Pandemic Proof” Proof Your Practice with a Telemedicine Platform
Your practice and those of your peers have been badly affected by the last several months and the ways that this has changed the delivery of health care possible for the long term. It is now more necessary than ever to make your medical practice “pandemic proof.” If you do not successfully accomplish this to one degree or another and soon, then you may not be in business much longer, thanks to the new realities of global pandemics like COVID-19. Your practice can remain open and relevant to patients by having this new telemedicine platform for medical practice features that will keep you in contact with your patients who may not feel comfortable leaving the safe confines of their own home anymore for a time.