The Pros and Cons of Telehealth Technology
The healthcare sector has made many impressive strides, owing to the advancements technology has made in recent years. Lives are more accessible now for practitioners and patients alike thanks to the solutions provided by healthcare-related technology and automated software. One such software that is quickly becoming a staple of the healthcare industry is the intuitive Telehealth technology that facilitates remote patient monitoring and consultation.
At first glance, the appeal of telehealth solutions is quite clear. Telehealth technology aims to harness the convenience of the internet and camera-enabled computer / mobile devices so patients and practitioners can connect virtually without interacting personally.
The recent covid-19 outbreak has only resulted in these solutions becoming wildly more popular among its target base. It allows practitioners to continue consulting their patients while keeping the shutters to their practice or clinic closed. As such, telehealth has become a powerful tool for physicians to mitigate the risks associated with the deadly virus while ensuring un-interrupted patient-care
In retrospect, we are having a conversation about this technology when several types of telehealth technology are available at our disposal. However, despite its many merits, it is not perfect. Just like any other technology, they too come with their faults.
So we’ve decided to compile a fair list that lays out the pros and cons of telehealth solutions in an immaculate manner.
The Pros and Cons of Latest Telehealth Technology
There are several ways in which healthcare practices or organizations stand to benefit from adopting this new technology as an integral part of their service.
1 – Patient Convenience
The most obvious benefit and a significant reason why patients and physicians gravitate towards this technology is convenience. In a 2013 survey published by Cisco survey, 74% of patients claimed they preferred virtual consultation over in-person doctor appointments. Since times immemorial, convenience has been a significant reason behind the success of any healthcare practice. By offering virtual care, practitioners offer hassle-free on-demand care that saves time and money. This technology is considerably more beneficial for patients who live in rural areas and do not have access to clinics or hospitals.
Patients living in rural areas do not have to waste time and money on long commutes to see a doctor. Instead, with the help of the latest telehealth technology, they can connect with a doctor virtually via a mobile or computer device.
2 – Cost-Effective
A report published by American Hospital Association stated that telemedicine technology saved 11% in costs and managed to triple ROIs for investors. Remote patient monitoring with electronic data management helps reduce healthcare costs significantly, thus saving oodles of money for patients, practices, and insurance companies. Prices are also reduced due to a decrease in un-scheduled ER visits, regular checkups, and transportation.
On the other hand, practices stand to double their revenue as telehealth reduces no-shows, converting on-call hours into billable time, attracting new clients, and reducing overall operational costs.
3 – Better Patient Engagement
Telehealth ensures patients don’t miss out on their scheduled appointments. In other words, patients are more engaged with their care thanks to the convenience provided by telehealth solutions, which helps a physician provide quality care. Virtual visits guarantee patients that their doctors pay attention to them and are committed to providing relief from what ails them.
Patients have the opportunity to reach out if they see any warning signs, get instant answers to their queries, and re-schedule their appointments whenever required.
4 –Better Patient Care
Telehealth optimizes patient care considerably by taking care of all the minor and significant time or cost-related inconveniences associated with traditional healthcare. Patients can consult doctors urgently and find solutions to their ailments in real-time. Telehealth boosts patient satisfaction. A 2015 study states that patients who use telehealth for consultation show lower depression, stress, and anxiety.
As we mentioned before, telehealth technology isn’t perfect, and there a few issues that do stick out.
1 – Need Staff Training
Telehealth is still a relatively new technology. As such, many practitioners, nurses, and physicians need proper training to use it optimally. You may have to invest a significant amount of time and money in training your staff to be better used to it. On the flip side, a healthcare practice can hope to double its ROI with the help of a fully trained staff that can expertly operate telehealth solutions.
2 – Can hinder continuity in-care
Most on-demand telehealth services that connect patients to a random physician can hinder the continuity of the care they have been receiving from their familiar doctor. Some doctors may not record your previous care, which could be transferred to the new provider. This sudden switch between healthcare providers can result in important patient history being lost in the shuffle.
Reduced care continuity can significantly reduce the quality of care patients receive. So it is crucial for telehealth service providers to have robust data solutions to access patient records. We believe this problem will solve itself with time as more and more doctors integrate telehealth technology with their services.
3 – Poor Connection and Software Incompatibility
Most technologies aren’t perfect and come with their own set of problems. For instance, a telehealth solution may not operate smoothly because of poor broadband connection. On the other hand, an incompatible operating system may hinder the launch of a telemedicine solution in your mobile or computer device. Although most people prefer virtual consultation, not all help about healthcare can be provided via the internet. Physical examinations, for example, will require patients to pay a visit to their physicians personally.
The Bottom Line
The telemedicine industry is worth $17.8 billion today. This should hint towards how popular it is and how quickly it is becoming a part of our everyday conversation. It is crucial for healthcare organizations to adopt this technology to stay ahead of their competition and provide satisfying care to their patients.
It is also imperative to employ only the best and latest telehealth technology to provide virtual healthcare services to your patients. Fortunately, we at DENmaar have just the solution you are looking for. Over the years, DENmaar has perfected the art of simplifying healthcare for both patients and physicians with robust solutions.
So get in touch with us today to learn more about DENmaar’s intuitive telehealth solution and how it can help both patients and healthcare organizations better serve each other’s interests.