Telehealth services involve electronic and telecommunication technologies to support remote healthcare, patient and professional health-related education, public health, and health administration. In other words, telehealth is a mechanism for delivering health care services at a distance.
Telehealth services became more in use after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some benefits of telehealth are:
- Increases efficiency and widens the reach of existing providers.
- Minimises health disparities for older people and populations which cannot access the
- Reduces lost work time, child care, and patient transportation costs.
- Allows access to more care providers in communities for patients in rural areas, removing the need for them to travel long distances for services.
You can also access more information from various physicians on their explanation of why telehealth services are crucial. Read on to find out how to offer better telehealth services to patients.
1. Protecting Doctor-Patient Relationship Despite Physical Distance
Previously, not meeting the doctor in person was perceived to negatively affect the doctor-patient relationship because there would be no connection between the patients and clinicians. Over time that perception has been proven wrong because telehealth services have helped doctors a great deal in building a rapport with patients.
2. Setting Up A Command Centre
Setting up a command centre means availing a front-door virtual clinic with a single triaged access point. This enables patients to get help instead of thinking about which service to access before connecting to virtual assistance. The front-door virtual clinic will also improve optimisation of the flow of patients, speed-to-care, and satisfaction of users.
3. Enabling Patients To Learn Self-Help Options
Most patients would like to access health providers and have their queries addressed without booking an appointment. This can be accomplished by establishing a patient access centre and providing patients with self-help options. This contact centre uses a healthcare communications platform, including technologies like telephony, chats, and video conferencing. Using the patient access centre will enable patients to get the services they need and utilise healthcare resources efficiently.
4. Prioritise The Patients; information And Preferences
To prioritise information and preferences of patients means ensuring that telehealth services are comprehensively available. In other words, the patient does not require sharing certain personal information every time they need assistance. Integrating data to improve telehealth services will allow patients better care and experience.
5. Provide Equal Access To Telehealth Services For All Patients
Providing equal access to telehealth services can be achieved by adjusting procedures and giving extra support, for example, to people with disabilities throughout the virtual visit. Have a way for patients to record any special needs before their appointment. To make it easy for all patients, avail resources in various forms like braille, printed information, and audio recording. Ensure that all patients can easily understand and communicate with their healthcare providers. For instance, make interpreter services and communication aids available for patients who may have disabilities.
6. Track Feedback In Real-Time
Thanks to technology, telehealth providers can instantly receive feedback after or during interactions. The providers should use this ability to respond to their feedback, especially if patients are dissatisfied with the services. Reacting fast to the input will eliminate patients; chances of sending posts of bad experiences online.
7. Make Telehealth Services More Accessible
Telehealth services can be made more accessible in various ways. Providers can pick a platform that allows features like having an interpreter on the same call with the provider and patient, automatic transcriptions, live captions, and a high-contrast display. Telehealth providers can also allow video conferencing to link a virtual interpreter’s appointment for sign language or oral interpretation in real-time.
8. Consider Patients Who Don’t Have Access To The Internet
It’s challenging to access telehealth services without technology. It’s unfortunate for those patients who may be located in environments without broadband internet or don’t have the necessary devices like smartphones. Such patients can be covered by sharing information before their telehealth appointment at locations with free internet hotspots like community centres.
Remember to assure the patients that your telehealth platform offers security and built-in privacy. Patients can also have the option of having the telehealth visit via a landline phone after confirming billing policies and adhering to HIPAA regulations.
Telehealth services became essential after the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has now been
accepted as the new normal, and most patients prefer it better than making physical visits to the
Considering the myriad of benefits telehealth offers, health organisations should ensure that it’s
optimised to have even better results in the future.