Telehealth: Transforming the Landscape of Healthcare

Telehealth is transforming the landscape of healthcare today. The global pandemic led to an increase in telehealth visits, and people quickly realized they could have better access to care while spending less money and time on the road traveling to and from visits. Nevertheless, this type of care has drawbacks, and people must find ways to overcome these drawbacks to get the most benefit. 

What is Telehealth? 

Telehealth is nothing more than healthcare services received via digital means. Patients may connect with healthcare professionals through video conferencing, which most people associate with telehealth. However, these interactions may be facilitated through text messages, remote monitoring systems, and mobile health apps. The interactions may be for direct medical care, or healthcare professionals might use the interactions to educate patients and provide health information services. Once a practice completes credentialing for telehealth, opportunities abound. 

Will Telehealth Replace Traditional Healthcare? 

Individuals might wonder if telehealth will replace conventional healthcare in many areas. Patients should now view it as a compliment for in-person visits. Doctors and other medical professionals may monitor chronic conditions using these methods or provide mental health services. However, certain conditions still call for office visits. 

Benefits of Telehealth Services

Older individuals benefit significantly from telehealth services, as they can talk with their healthcare team from their homes. The same holds for homebound individuals who lack transportation to medical facilities. They can interact with doctors worldwide wherever they can access digital communication.

Patients find it easier to make their appointments when virtual, so they promptly get the care they need. Healthcare professionals can be more flexible regarding appointments outside of regular business hours. Furthermore, high-risk patients can connect with medical professionals remotely to reduce their risk of being exposed to germs. It also helps patients struggling with mental health conditions such as social anxiety and agoraphobia

Telehealth Drawbacks

Doctors find it harder to establish relationships with patients when visits are virtual. It may be more challenging for the doctor to get a patient to come in for tests that cannot be performed at home, such as CT scans. They also worry that some patients won’t receive the care they need because they lack access to the technology used for telehealth visits. 

Other people have access to the technology but don’t understand how to use it. Technology isn’t perfect, either. Patients may become frustrated if they have problems connecting to their medical team because of issues with the technology. They could give up trying to receive the care they need or move to another healthcare practice. 

Medical professionals struggle to pick up on non-verbal cues when talking with patients virtually. They use these cues to learn more about the patient and what they are experiencing. Without these cues, they may be unable to provide the same level of care. Doctors must find a way to overcome this challenge in the future. 

Communication is critical for telehealth visits. Patients must be willing to share information with their medical teams, and healthcare professionals must ask the right questions to determine the root of the problem. Nevertheless, patients must still visit the office for certain conditions, such as cancer or heart problems. 

Telehealth is the future of healthcare. Medical professionals will still see patients in person, but digital options will continue to become more commonplace. Patients and doctors must recognize this and learn to make the most of the technology so everyone benefits.

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