3 Reasons Why Telehealth is Vital to Your Operations
In the current pandemic, healthcare settings across the world are being driven to innovate their normal way of working at a rapid pace.
Finding a solution to the requirements of a safe face-to-face meeting has led many to telehealth. Remote health services have in fact been around for many years, however, this progression in technology never quite took off.
After COVID-19 forced everyone to ‘stay safe and stay home’ earlier in the year, it became apparent that these virtual capabilities were ready to see the rebirth they truly deserved.
The buzz word ‘Telehealth’ is the distribution of health-related services and information via electronic information and telecommunication technologies. When used correctly, it eliminates queuing, high risk waiting rooms and any associated travel. It can also improve patient satisfaction through more focussed consultations or meetings.
In this article, we take a look at the three key reasons why telehealth is vital to the healthcare industry both now and in the future.
1 – Grow customer base without increasing overheads
By implementing virtual consultations, healthcare settings can reach patients from far further afield. What initially required a visit to a main hospital at one end of the country, and potentially involved a lot of travelling, can now be done from the comfort of the patient’s home.
Not only does this make the initial consultations far more accessible, but it also suggests the healthcare professionals are willing to make the effort to see a patient no matter how far. This level of care will resonate with an increased loyalty and in turn, revenue growth through confidence in a setting.
For clinicians or other professionals who travel to patients, video conferencing will allow them to ‘visit’ far more patients in any one day than ever before. Using this functionality also means there are no costs associated with time or travel.
2 – Eliminate infection risks and PPE costs
Many settings have found a new unexpected cost in 2020, which is due to the sudden and huge demand of PPE. To safely manage face-to-face consultations, staff need a whole host of additional protective equipment. These additional costs may force some settings to increase prices and lose patients as a result.
With a telehealth solution, the healthcare industry can slash costs on PPE because there is no physical meeting of the patient in that circumstance. Not only does this allow settings to remain competitively priced, but also frees up such money to spend on delivering the very best in patient care.
Vitally, this solution also completely removes any infection risk to both the patient and the healthcare professional. Putting both sides at ease during these very uncertain times and ensuring the focus can be on exactly what the patient is meeting for.
3 – Maximise on patient satisfaction
The immediate benefits of having a telehealth solution successfully implemented into daily operations will be the time savings and cost-effectiveness. However, the ever-desired by-product of such a solution is the capabilities of dramatically increasing patient satisfaction.
Healthcare professionals can be much more attentive in post-op check-ups with the extra time saved on travel to use elsewhere. A video call can help the patient to feel far more cared for. With the element of face-to-face contact still being there instead of a simple telephone conversation. This is true to a number of similar situations, such as sharing a diagnosis with a patient or evaluating and prescribing medications.
Patients will feel far more comfortable in the safety of their own home, and confident that the setting is proactive about the required changes of the current pandemic.
Whilst it has been a long time coming, telehealth is here to stay. It is the most effective and efficient solution to overcoming the biggest hurdle this year has thrown at the industry. Whilst we can’t predict the future, it seems that implementing a telehealth solution can ensure that healthcare settings are prepared for what it may hold.
Streets Heaver is a leading provider of healthcare software, delivering solutions across the UK and beyond. To find out more, click here.