TELEHEALTH: PROS, CONS, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN
COVID-19 has taught us a lot about our healthcare. We’ve seen it bring unprecedented challenges and obstacles, which the healthcare industry has had to overcome as quickly and effectively as possible. One way that healthcare professionals are delivering care to their patients in the midst of a pandemic is telehealth.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is simply the delivery of healthcare services and solutions via digital communications. This can look different depending on the doctor and specific case. Usually, telehealth’s services include patient education, medical care, and health information services using text messages, apps, video conferencing, and remote patient monitoring systems.
Currently, the telehealth industry is booming. With the technology available today, doctors and other healthcare professionals are able to connect with their patients just by using their phones. The extent to which a medical professional utilizes telehealth varies case by case, but all applications usually involve electronic communication services approved by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Telehealth offers a significant amount of flexibility to medical professionals. Clinicians can order specific tests or lab work sent directly to patients’ homes. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of telehealth.
There are plenty of benefits to telehealth—for both patients and medical professionals. Here are a few:
- Convenience: Homebound individuals, older adults, and even patients with busy schedules no longer have to worry about an in-person doctor’s visit. It saves people time and effort.
- More Accessible Healthcare: Telehealth makes it easier for patients to get in touch with their medical professionals. They no longer are a driving distance away from getting the attention and care they need. This is extremely beneficial for patients who live in more rural areas, far away from their healthcare provider.
- Increased Patient and Staff Safety: If patients are at high risk for COVID-19, or any other health problem for that matter, they are able to avoid putting themselves or others at risk for infection with telehealth. They can get the care they need without leaving the safety of their homes.
No solution or technology is without its flaws. Here are a few of the drawbacks of telehealth:
- The Learning Curve: Telehealth requires the use of technology that some patients may not be comfortable with. This problem is even more prevalent with older patients.
- No Physical Testing: There are plenty of tests that can be done through telehealth, but in-person visits will still be required for certain tests like CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays.
- Technical Issues and Inequalities: Let’s face it, technology isn’t perfect. It messes up sometimes. Telehealth requires strong connection from both the patient and the professional. Some patients don’t have access to the devices necessary for telehealth or the technology capable of running it.
Is Telehealth Right For You?
Telehealth offers plenty of benefits, but does have its downsides. Is your office ready to make the switch and overcome these challenges? At Blue Eagle Consulting, we provide healthcare organizations with the individuals crucial to making large software investments perform as expected. We help empower your staff with the software skills and expertise vital to managing critical patient information in today’s complex operating environments. Contact us today and let us help you improve your business and reach more clients efficiently and effectively. We can’t wait to help you!