Thanks to the internet, we don’t have to go days without speaking with our loved ones or hunt high and low for information we may be looking for. The internet has made it easy for us to connect with almost anyone and everything. The same is true for doctors and patients.
While there’s certainly something to be said for in-person doctor’s appointments that may help us share any health concerns with our provider, there are some great benefits that come with virtual health visits. Telehealth has been proven to improve patient outcomes in many ways, and it may be worth it for you to try connecting with your provider over the internet. Don’t believe us? Here are just a few ways that telehealth can improve patient outcomes.
Reduced Treatment Delays
In many cases, immediate attention to a medical concern can make a world of difference. However, we are still quite a distance away from equal access to healthcare. Rural communities, especially, are proven to have a harder time connecting with medical care.
Lack of accessible transportation, infrastructure, and support means many people cannot visit the doctor if they don’t own a car. Even if they do, often, healthcare professionals may practice out of bigger cities, and driving many miles to visit a doctor can be a serious time commitment. In such scenarios, minor medical concerns can become more serious over time. This has a cascading effect on finances and health.
Telehealth fills this patient-doctor gap in an impactful manner. It makes it easy for patients to receive diagnosis and treatment advice even when in-person visits to a healthcare provider aren’t possible.
Rural areas are often at a disadvantage when it comes to high-speed internet that will support the bandwidth necessary for voice and video chat. Patients who don’t have internet access for telehealth, or have low internet speeds, have a few options. First, mobile hotspots that use data networks can be used to supplement wired internet speeds. Many telehealth nonprofits can also gain access to wireless internet for nonprofits at a considerably lower cost. Not only do some organizations offer low-cost internet options for telehealth nonprofits, but they also help supply hardware such as Chromebooks. By bridging the gap between care and the communities that need it, telehealth services help address medical concerns before they become much more difficult to treat.
Improved Chronic Condition Management
If you are managing a chronic condition, you know that it’s something that must be monitored carefully. It is also important that when you notice any changes in your health, you bring them to your doctor’s attention as quickly as possible. With telehealth, connecting with your provider to share these changes is fast and easy. Rather than scheduling an in-person appointment to reassess your condition, a telehealth appointment can be conducted much faster and at a time and place that is most convenient for you.
Telehealth visits are conducted using HIPAA compliant software, so you know that your medical history is private, even if it is online.
Not only does telehealth improve patient outcomes by allowing for better doctor-patient communication when managing chronic conditions, but it also improves outcomes by making patients more active participants in their care.
Successful telehealth relies on remote condition monitoring, which means patients must report their own weight, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, or other metrics as required by their doctor. Whether patients report daily, weekly, or over a longer time frame, studies have shown that patients who report metrics to their providers are better positioned to manage their conditions. Patients who log their own numbers are better able to see and understand the correlation between their behaviors and the metrics. As a result, they are more likely to make mindful, healthful decisions on a day-to-day basis than those patients who rely only on their provider to analyze their numbers.
Telehealth is connecting people who need medical care to the providers who can help them achieve their best outcomes. By embracing the advantages of convenient access to your care provider, you too can enjoy high-quality care from the comfort of home.