The onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost every aspect of our daily lives, leaving everyone is in a state of adjustment, confusion, and examination. Medical care has become a delicate tightrope to walk in a time where social distancing, quarantining, and isolation are the norm. There is a thoughtful balance practices are deciding upon between providing the best medical care and treatments for patients and keeping them and medical staff protected from the virus. Out of the darkness and confusion has come a way to effectively and safely provide many of the same services without the risk of face to face contact during this time: telehealth. This new method for healthcare is growing exponentially during this COVID-19 crisis and has many benefits for continuing to take care of your patients.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth can be described in simple terms, as virtual healthcare visits performed using a computer, smartphone, or tablet. You can safely have your consultation appointment with your doctor or a nurse at your home rather than going into a medical facility and sitting in a crowded waiting room. These virtual appointments are a beneficial, practical, and efficient way to get medical advice and updated care quickly and cautiously when an office visit is not feasible. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the benefits of telehealth are more critical and mainstream than ever before. It is especially true since office visit volumes will not be returning to post-outbreak levels of normalcy any time soon. Many of the adjustments made to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will likely be implemented for the long-term.
Telehealth Benefit: Convenience
This unique form of medical care is beneficial for several reasons other than the added protection and social distancing power that it offers. Telehealth appointments and medical care are also easier for patients since they can be scheduled more easily to fit into their routines. Patients often prefer telehealth options when possible since there is no driving to the doctor, arriving a half-hour early, or long waits in a cramped waiting room involved. Patients in rural areas and families with children often find these virtual services much more convenient, which helps boost their popularity among all demographics and all medical fields. Telehealth has the potential to impact people's lives in a compelling and positive way during this time. As more medical providers offer telehealth options, more people are taking advantage of it.
Telehealth Benefit: Security
As telehealth services' popularity is exploding, and thousands of virtual appointments are held every day, one question consistently arises: how safe is telehealth? This is a legitimate concern and thankfully, so long as you use links and services provided to you directly from your doctor or healthcare providers, there is very little cause for concern. Telehealth meetings are conducted through the medical provider's office and are bound by the same HIPPA and protection laws that any other appointment or disclosure with your doctor would be. Streaming videos and audios are encrypted and protected, and all of your information and records are safe and hosted through your medical provider's office. Healthcare systems typically thoroughly vet third-parties for security. Even though some HIPAA requirements are waived during the COVID-19 pandemic, most physicians are still abiding by them. As telehealth's implementation becomes more mature, patients will see the tightening of security protocols.
Telehealth Benefit: Reducing the Spread of COVID-19
One of the most significant aspects of fighting the global spread of COVID-19 is reducing close, face-to-face encounters. The illness transmits via bodily fluids through coughs, sneezes, and other similar occurrences that can pass COVID-19 from one person to another. Your chances of exposure increase the higher the number of close encounters you have with people. By moving away from traditional office visits to virtual healthcare appointments, person to person spread can be greatly reduced. With social isolation as the norm, and as people begin using food and grocery delivery service more often, it only makes sense that medical care moves to a more virtual mode as well. The move to digital-based healthcare has long been coming, and that time has finally come.
Telehealth Benefit: Multiple Service Options
While the use of telehealthcare services continues to grow on a nearly daily basis, not all medical professionals are offering this option. Patients looking for these services and providers who can offer virtual appointments will see improved health for their patients during this time. Any hospital, medical facility, doctor's office, or healthcare provider that wants to begin offering these virtual appointments for their patients can do so fairly easily. Some of the telehealth service options our clients have been successfully utilizing are:
At TempDev we specialize in assisting clients in the selection and implementation of telehealth services. If you are looking at the pros and cons of offering NextGen telehealth services to your patients, we are here to assist and make converting your visits a smooth transition.
Contact TempDev Today to Learn More
The world is changing now more than ever. Everything that once was common and routine has been turned upside down. As individuals and businesses struggle to adjust and get back to some semblance of normalcy, new innovations are making it more manageable. Telehealth offers a way to ensure your patients are well taken care of while also protecting them and your staff from the threat of COVID-19. Isolation and social distances have made many aspects of life challenging, but there are ways to adapt and continue on and run your business. During these trying times, we are here to help you ensure you can still provide the necessary care for your patients. Contact us here at TempDev today to see how our services, along with telehealth innovation, can help your team during these unprecedented times in our country.
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