Looking Ahead: The Bright Future of Healthcare “Telehealth”
How has Covid-19 Changed Healthcare?
It has been over a year since Covid-19 arrived on the scene and changed how we carry out our day-to-day activities.
The way we shop, spend time with our family and of course over the past year and a half how we visit the doctor.
So how has the pandemic specifically changed healthcare?
Many healthcare systems have taken a tremendous loss financially because of having to cancel elective surgeries. Also, healthcare employees were immensely impacted mentally and physically.
Caring for their family, working long hours, and mentally dealing with the thought of infecting their family has left many healthcare workers burnt out and stressed.
Because of this, many healthcare facilities are faced with a lack of staff to care for patients.
The pandemic has created a new (really not so new) need to focus more on telehealth.
Before the pandemic, many healthcare organizations already had telehealth in place. However, will telehealth be the new face of healthcare for the future?
What is Telehealth?
In the past year, many hospitals have utilized telehealth services for patient care to continue to visit and treat patients. So what exactly is the definition of telehealth?
The Mayo Clinic explains it well.
“Telehealth is the use of digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely and manage your health care. These may be technologies you use from home or that your doctor uses to improve or support health care services.”
Just think, no more in-office visits, sitting in a Dr.’s office waiting to be seen. However, being able to discuss your healthcare needs right via video or phone in the comforts of your home.
How Does the Future of Healthcare Look?
1. Virtual Appointments
As of right now, many hospitals are helping their patients feel more comfortable by offering medical care through telehealth appointments. Will this become the new norm? It seems that way. Would you take advantage of virtual appointments if given a choice?
Let us talk about how a remote care appointment may look.
With a telehealth appointment, you will be able to do things such as meet with a doctor or nurse practitioner to prescribe or adjust medications.
With just a click of a button, you can view test results, discuss future medical concerns/needs, and discuss current health concerns with a telenurse or doctor.
To participate in appointments from your home, you will need either a phone or tablet with an internet connection. Most hospitals that offer virtual appointments have a section on their website that explains step by step how to prepare for your virtual appointment.
2. Telehealth Apps
Telehealth apps are great on those days when you are too sick to get out of bed or live in a rural community, and you need specialty care, but it is a distance to the next hospital or clinic.
There are many telehealth apps available that you can use to, in a sense, have a remote nurse or “house call” by a doctor.
Here are some of the most popular telehealth apps:
There are costs associated with the telehealth services provided through these apps. The services offered by these different apps vary, so be sure to do research and find the one that fits your circumstances the best.
Along with telehealth apps, there are other devices that a patient can wear at home that offer remote patient monitoring. Doctors can monitor weight, blood pressure, and oxygen levels.
Is Telehealth Here to Stay?
Telehealth allows healthcare providers and patients to discuss medical needs safely and at other times more conveniently.
The changes that were brought on regarding healthcare as a result of the pandemic could be here to stay. Notice what Rita Numerof said on Forbes.com
“Telehealth has the potential to actually ease physicians’ burdens. It would allow them to conveniently provide high-quality care in a safe, low-cost environment: the patients’ home. It would allow them potentially to see more patients per day; and it would allow providers to address patients’ issues with easy, convenient access, at lower cost and, with proper use, equal or better quality. And as a result, telehealth could actually increase hospitals’ bottom lines and meaningful engagement of consumers”
There are many benefits to tele healthcare. The question is will you embrace the future of healthcare and take part in virtual care?
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