In recent years, healthcare providers and medical professionals have turned to increasingly advanced technologies to serve their patients and maintain an advantage in the healthcare marketplace. Incorporating virtual care into a service line strategy has proven to have many benefits, not the least of which is improving patient outcomes.
In determining how treating your patients virtually can help you to achieve ideal outcomes, it is important to first understand exactly what aspects of treatment can be done through remote care technology. Telemedicine offerings can range from asynchronous communication regarding patient care, to consulting with other healthcare providers, to having synchronous, two-way video conferences. This kind of ready access can have a highly positive impact on your daily office work, increase patient engagement, reduce readmissions, and more.
Reduce readmissions. Let’s face it, patients seldom know when they truly need follow up care, and often get to a point where they need more treatment because they’ve been neglecting themselves. Through virtual care, and other mHealth tools, organizations have the ability to monitor recovery and symptoms, but it doesn’t stop there. For years, health news has been reporting the shift to mHealth for management of chronic diseases to reduce readmissions and mitigate travel times.
Increase patient engagement. You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times – patients just don’t want to, or cannot, take the time for a physical visit to their healthcare provider’s office. Sometimes, it’s a question of taking time off work, sometimes they are dreading traffic, and sometimes they are unable to leave the kids at home. Through a simple, and speedy video visit, patients only need to take 10-15 minutes out of their day, instead of an hour or more. Patients engage more with you, when they feel that you are engaged with them – what better way than to meet them where they are, on their own mobile devices?
Increase efficiency. Imagine, if you will, a world where patients check themselves in, update their own health records, pay their copay, and provide all of that information to you swiftly, and remotely. When you and your staff are able to remove those administrative tasks from your workload, the care you offer your patients improves, thus improving outcomes.
Offering telehealth services can put control back in your patients’ hands by empowering them to monitor their own health and organize their care. When your patients are more involved in their own care, they improve through their own efforts and spend less time coming back to the hospital. If you’re thinking about implementing a telemedicine strategy in your organization, survey your patients to find out whether they would seek care more frequently if you and your colleagues were more readily available to them.
Interested in learning more about improving health outcomes for the patients in your organization? Take a closer look, and !