Telehealth: What Is It and Why You Need It

Technology has changed how we keep in touch with friends and family, stay up to date on news, buy goods and services, and much more. It also has the potential to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare. Some medical practices have already started offering telehealth services. 

Telehealth” is a using technology to enhance health care, public health, and health education. It can refer to a wide range of health care fields, including dentistry, counseling, physical and occupational therapy, and more. It was initially used by NASA to monitor and record astronauts’ vital signs during space flights.

Telehealth Features

Telehealth is the use of devices and technology to manage one’s health care and access services remotely. It can quickly and affordably bring healthcare to inaccessible people, those with limited mobility, and people in emergency situations. Here are some of the elements of telehealth: 

  • A patient portal allows patients to check in for appointments, see test results, update and refill prescriptions, and more.
  • A patient portal can be connected to a personal health record (PHR) system. A PHR System is a collection of information about a patient’s health that they control and maintain. They can access it at any time with a computer, tablet or smartphone.
  • Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) allows doctor’s to monitor a patient’s health with wearable devices. These devices record and transmit vitals such as blood pressure and glucose, lung function, heart rate, physical activity, sleep patterns, and more.
Wearable medical devices allow medical professionals to monitor a patient's vitals, activity, sleep pattern, and more.
  • These services also make it easier for a team of healthcare professionals to work together. Doctors can share exam notes, test results, and health history. They can respond electronically, conduct a virtual appointment, or request an in-person appointment.
  • Patients can speak with medical professionals about non-emergency issues via video conferencing or a phone call during virtual appointments.
Telehealth includes dental care, physical and occupational therapy, and more.

Revolutionary Potential

By offering telehealth to patients, medical centers are able to improve care, convenience, access, and sustainability.

  • Access: Patients can receive specialist care without having to travel or be transferred from their primary care facility. With the technology available today, patients who live in inaccessible areas no longer have to compromise on their health care.
  • Convenience: Allowing patients to check-in for appointments online reduces wait time. Virtual appointments will dramatically decrease the number of cancelled or missed appointments, and online check-in reduces wait times. Patients can also feel secure in their communication with their doctor, review summaries of past visits, and schedule future visits.
  • Care: Patients often go months without seeing their providers. RPMs can allow for earlier detection of complications. They can also monitor and identify patients who need to seek medical attention prior to in-person appointments. Additionally, chronic conditions can be more readily and efficiently managed resulting in higher quality care and outcomes as well as reduced costs.
    PHR’s can be helpful in emergency situations when emergency personnel need information regarding someone’s diagnoses, medications, allergies, and primary physician.
  • Sustainability: Providers, payers, and employers have started moving toward telehealth care solutions. They like the improved worker productivity from not having to take time off and travel to appointments, decreased medical costs, and clinician time savings that comes with it.

With a move toward combining health care and technology, it is important to advertise how your practice is keeping up with advances. So it may be time to rethink your marketing strategy to include more modern medias, or to include which telehealth options you have available. Need help? That’s why we’re here! Check out more information below about how we can help with your marketing strategy.