Tele Healthcare: A Progressive Approach for Patients and Providers
During this time of healthcare uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to meet patients where they are. An increased focus on achieving and maintaining connections between patients and providers is critical. Virtual healthcare is necessary for patients of all ages but is of particular importance for the elderly, rural-dwelling families, and immunocompromised individuals.
Travel can be a hindrance to seeking medical care. By removing this burden, patients may seek care sooner, which can help reduce morbidity associated with a variety of disorders. Specific short-term health conditions may also limit a patient’s ability to receive timely medical care and may reduce overall compliance with prescribed medical treatments. Telehealth allows providers to improve access to quality care for individuals requiring:
- Transitional care after inpatient treatment
- Palliative care
- Ongoing health monitoring for acute and chronic conditions
- Acute symptom evaluation
- Mental and behavioral health follow-up
Many health conditions require frequent follow-up appointments for optimized care and outcomes. Particularly beneficial in the primary care setting, virtual office visits provide established patients with a quick, convenient evaluation and follow-ups for chronic health conditions such as:
- Dermatologic conditions
- Upper respiratory issues
- Pain management
Virtual Healthcare Improves Patient-Provider Communication
As community-wide safety continues to remain essential, telehealth offers patients the ability to communicate effectively with their primary care provider from the comfort of their home. Telehealth also allows the healthcare team to effectively integrate and individualize patient care. When appropriate, collaboration with on-site home health nursing staff will greatly improve the ability of clinic providers to assess and properly treat individuals through remote video conferencing. In this setting, a variety of clinical tools employed by the in-home nurse or caregiver will aid in offering a quality patient assessment. Concerns that typically require a scheduled office visit can be effectively addressed through a brief virtual consultation.
Home-health staff will also find value in improved communication with primary care providers. Patient condition changes, new clinical findings, and results around treatment effectiveness can all be readily and rapidly shared through the use of telehealth portals. This will save clinical and documentation time, as well as reduce the burden of travel for patients seeking follow-up care.
Virtual Healthcare Empowers Patients
Gaining more frequent access to medical providers allows patients to embrace self-management practices under the direction of their primary care provider. Medication management, blood pressure monitoring, blood glucose monitoring, symptom checks, and follow-ups are among the many ways that individuals are empowered to maintain and improve their health.
The surge in telehealth during this public health crisis highlights the importance of readily accessible medical care. Individuals expect a continuation of the primary care relationship. Primary care providers have the opportunity to maximize patient care effectiveness by increasing patient contact through telehealth modalities.