The beauty of telehealth technology has been a saving grace for many of us during the pandemic.
Telehealth is nothing new and has been around for years. But now, many more physicians and patients are seeing telehealth as a necessity instead of just an option. Digital healthcare is safe, secure, affordable, and is beneficial to everyone.
And with physicians using telehealth services all over, it might even be the new preferred method of healthcare, with many practices not looking to go back to the old ways.
The History of Telehealth
Even though telehealth has been around for years, the pandemic has helped shift the advancement of telehealth services, with more physicians and even patients accepting it.
Medicare started to include limited telehealth benefits almost 20 years ago but more recently has made changes to allow for more patients to benefit from telehealth services.
The pandemic has made a push in more physicians not only switching over to using telehealth, but some now use it 100 percent of the time. This is mainly due to employees needing to stay home and offices closed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
However, people still need healthcare and especially during a pandemic. Patients are looking for a physician’s diagnosis, treatment plans, test results, changes in prescriptions, or even basic questions about their health.
This is where the magic of telehealth comes in. And the great thing about it is all specialties can use telehealth technology.
With the use of a patient portal to communicate, telehealth is much more efficient and still, always secure.
The Acceleration of Telehealth
With a temporary lift of Medicare restrictions, more people have been able to access telehealth. In the stimulus package, Congress modified telehealth rules to expand access to more Medicare patients.
In addition, some HIPAA privacy laws were relaxed to meet the needs of telehealth. But, all physicians are still required to use a secure video conference and communication platform.
When the pandemic hit, telehealth came into play as being a safe way for those at high-risk or who are 65 years or older to receive needed healthcare while in the comfort of their own home. These patients can still receive consultations, be monitored, and view test results with remote access.
Benefits of Using Telehealth
Even though there is always a minimal security risk when using technology, the benefits outshine this risk.
Telehealth medicine is more personal and most patients feel more comfortable in their own homes.
Patients can also ask more questions and communicate freely as the physician tends to be more focused and attentive with fewer distractions during a telehealth meeting.
One of the biggest benefits of telehealth medicine is the efficiency of it. With telehealth medicine, there is no wasting time going to and from an office, waiting in the lobby, meeting with a nurse, and then only getting a few moments to meet with your physician. All of this can be time-consuming, but telehealth eliminates the long wait time.
Telehealth allows patients to either just send a message or email to their provider to ask a question or for a request. The software and portals tend to be set-up differently at each practice and all physicians have their own preferences. But for the most part, telehealth is a simple way to deliver efficient healthcare.
The Future of Telehealth Technology
The future of healthcare after the pandemic is still a mystery.
With the Government making the necessary changes in the wake of the pandemic, it is expected that Congress will pass a bill to make these changes permanent. Especially with the success of telehealth through the pandemic, it shows that this may be the new way to receive healthcare by limiting the spread of diseases and keeping everyone safe. And it just might be the push needed to make the permanent shift in expanding the access of the telehealth to more patients.
Moving Your Practice to Telehealth Technology
If you are looking to add telehealth services to your practice, start with learning about your state’s regulations regarding telehealth.
The next step is to find and work with a telemedicine software that is HIPPA compliant and follows all federal and state regulations.
A software system that is not only secure but easy to integrate with your current system is crucial. A smooth transition is ideal. And this can be done with a telehealth platform that is secure, easy to use, and efficient, not only for the staff but also for the patients.
About Author: Alan is a very well known author and blogger. He loves to write on various topics. You can read his latest articles here.