Telehealth services have quickly become a cornerstone of medical care. Widespread adoption was accelerated following the COVID-19 pandemic, and today consumers report that they plan to continue to rely on telehealth to access care. In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently made telehealth coverage for certain treatments and procedures permanent, solidifying telehealth’s role in the future of healthcare. Considering this information, it is clear that creating an easy-to-use and scalable telehealth solution is vital for the future success of healthcare. But what are the advantages of telehealth? Let’s take a look.
Patient Satisfaction and Preference
In early 2021 the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition partnered with the AMA to perform a COVID-19 Telehealth Impact Study. Thousands of patients were polled. The overwhelming majority of respondents reported a good experience with telehealth and would like to continue to use it going forward. Another survey found that 88% percent of respondents want to continue to use telehealth services for non-emergent consultations following our return to normalcy.
Providers were also surveyed in the COVID-19 Telehealth Impact Study, and 68% reported that they desired to continue the use of telehealth in their facilities. Telehealth is not appropriate for every healthcare conversation, but providers identified chronic disease management, medical management, care coordination, preventative care, and hospital/emergency follow-up as areas that are particularly suited for telehealth visits.
It may seem unheard of to drive two towns over to see a doctor, but limited healthcare access is a reality for many rural areas. Regular primary care practitioner visits are scheduled further apart, and when patients need to see a specialist, they may spend half a day traveling to the nearest clinic. With the advent of telehealth and the adoption of smarter, more connected healthcare devices, a growing number of rural patients can seek higher quality of care closer to home. One success story IDS has worked with is Allina Health Care: now able to serve more rural communities strategically via video conferencing and data analytics.
Telehealth makes it so that patients do not need to travel to see a provider. This opens a statewide or even nationwide network of healthcare professionals to anyone at home.
Individuals living in remote areas or in medical deserts no longer need to forgo care. Mental health service, in particular, saw a tremendous telehealth growth. The availability of telehealth services opens healthcare to patient populations that had previously been underserved.
For millions of people with limited access to healthcare, telehealth has been a critical part of keeping patients connected to doctors. As the recent COVID-19 pandemic has caused many facilities to limit patients or shut down altogether, it’s becoming clear that telehealth is no longer a “nice to have,” but a need: Telehealth is healthcare.
How IDS Can Help
A successful program goes beyond a simple end-to-end connection between a patient and provider. In order to seamlessly integrate a telehealth solution into existing care delivery workflows, software and hardware management, ongoing support, data & reporting, and ancillary services must be considered.
The telehealth integration experts here at IDS have developed a telehealth program visual that can help you to determine whether your solution is complete. Download it here.
Contact IDS to discover what a complete video solution can do for you.