By James M. Katz, BA
Telehealth is a rapidly growing field in the healthcare industry that uses technology to deliver care and services remotely. Telehealth can be used for a variety of purposes, including appointments, consultations, prescriptions, and follow-ups.
While telehealth has many benefits, including increased access to care, improved quality of care, and lower costs, there are some challenges that need to be addressed. These challenges include provider training and reimbursement, as well as ensuring patient privacy and security.
The article below discusses how health care professionals turned to telehealth as a way to deliver their services to patients during the Covid-19 pandemic. The patients in the study were mostly elderly and from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Most scored their satisfaction 6 out of 7. Some of the patients did not find telehealth enjoyable and preferred inpatient treatment. The following article goes into further detail.
“Amid the implementation of restrictions on in-person care during the COVID-19 pandemic, many patients and providers turned to telehealth. Telehealth helped maintain care access during this time, especially for seniors, but researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center wanted to determine patient satisfaction levels among the geriatric population that used virtual care.
For the study, they sent a patient satisfaction questionnaire to 278 patients over 65, 208 of whom completed the survey. The study period ranged from April 2020 to June 2021.”
Older Adults Satisfied with Telehealth During COVID-19 Pandemic, Mark Melchionna, mHealth Intelligence. October 10, 2022
Access Article here
Satisfaction of Telehealth:
Patients who used telehealth were more likely to report satisfaction with their care, including feeling more connected to their doctor and having better communication with their provider. They were also more likely to say they felt involved in their own care and that their care was coordinated.
Patients who used telehealth were also more likely to report better health outcomes, including fewer emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and better management of chronic conditions.
Benefits of Telehealth:
In recent years, telehealth has become an increasingly popular option for older adults. Telehealth allows patients to consult with their doctors remotely, using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. This can be especially beneficial for older adults who may have difficulty travelling to see their doctor in person.
There are a number of reasons why telehealth may be a good option for older adults. First, it can help them save time and money on travel costs. Second, it can provide them with more flexibility in terms of when and where they can consult with their doctor. And third, it can give them peace of mind knowing that they can still receive high-quality care even if they are not able to physically visit their doctor’s office.
In the past, patients had to physically go to a doctor’s office or hospital for medical care. This is no longer the case with the advent of telehealth, which allows patients to receive care remotely using technology. There are many benefits of telehealth, including increased access to care, improved outcomes, and lower costs.
Disadvantages of Telehealth:
Although telehealth has the potential to improve access to care, there are a few potential disadvantages of using telehealth services, especially when compared to in-person visits with healthcare providers. One such disadvantage is that patients may not be able to get the same level of care through a virtual visit as they would if they were meeting with their provider face-to-face.
Another potential downside to telehealth is that it can be difficult to build rapport and trust with your provider when you’re not meeting in person. This can be especially true if you’re using video conferencing for your visits, as it can be harder to read body language and cues when you’re not in the same room as the other person.
Finally, there’s always the possibility that technology will fail during a telehealth visit, which could lead to disruptions in care or even put patient safety at risk.
Is Telehealth for you?
When it comes to your health, you want the best care possible. You want to be able to see a doctor when you need to and get the treatments you need to feel better. But what if you can’t always get to the doctor’s office? What if you don’t have transportation or you live in a rural area? Telehealth might be the solution for you.
There are many benefits of telehealth. It increases access to care, especially for those who live in rural areas or who have transportation issues.
In conclusion, telehealth is a growing field that is changing how healthcare is delivered. It has the potential to improve access to care, reduce costs, and improve outcomes. However, there are challenges that need to be addressed, such as reimbursement, workforce issues, and technology infrastructure. With the right policies and investments in place, telehealth can help transform the healthcare system and improve the health of Americans.
Health Care Management:
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Patient and family engagement: a survey of US hospital practices. Jeph Herrin, Et.Al. PMC PubMed Central Epub June 16, 2015.
VA/Pitt Study Shows Telehealth Effective, Preferred for Veterans’ Wheelchair Design and Fit. Sheila Tunney. University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Services, December 2020.
Strategies for Evaluating Telehealth. Dr. John Chuo Et.Al. American Academy of Pediatrics Volume 146 Issue 5. November 1, 2020
Patient and clinician experiences with telehealth for patient follow-up care. Karen Dolenan Et.Al. The American Journal of Managed Care, 01 25(1):40-44 PMID: 30667610 January 2019.