How Telehealth Streamlines Processes for Doctors & Hospitals
Improving Time Management with Telehealth
Time is an incredibly important commodity in the healthcare industry. Clinicians and providers need to complete routine tasks as quickly as possible so they can spend more time caring for patients. Missed appointments, unexpected challenges, and miscommunication can delay crucial processes, which often inflates the cost of care. Patients may end up waiting longer than expected, and staff members may need to stay late. Doctors may not be able to see as many patients.
Telehealth can help providers make the most of their time on the floor, so they can complete routine processes as efficiently as possible. When used properly, digital technology can improve communication, reduce inefficiency, and help providers find the information they need without delay. If you want to improve time management at your facility, explore how telehealth can streamline various processes.
Remote Patient Monitoring with Automatic Alerts
Hospital readmissions and unexpected ER visits raise the price of care. Staff members may be caught off guard as chronically ill patients come back into the facility for additional care services. However, telehealth can help reduce the number of hospital readmissions and ER visits.
With remote patient monitoring, providers can monitor the health of chronically ill patients 24/7 while they are at home. Digital ankle bracelets, heart monitors, and other wearable devices send information to the provider in real-time, so they can keep track of any changes to the health of the patient. Providers can program these devices with preset thresholds, which means the device will send an automatic alert to the provider if the patient’s health degrades to a certain point. Providers can then contact the patient and arrange a follow-up appointment, enhancing preventive measures and ultimately improving outcomes.
For example, if a patient is recovering from surgery, they may wear a heart monitor while at home. If the patient’s heart rate gets too high, the provider will see an automatic alert on their computer. They can then contact the patient, see how they’re feeling, and bring them in for a consultation, if necessary.
Seamless Exchange of Information
Telehealth also speeds up the flow of information between providers and facilities. Providers can send and share copies of a patient’s health records with the click of a button. If a patient is referred to a specialist, their primary care provider can quickly send the file to the specialist to improve the continuity of care. As soon as the specialist receives the file, they can easily incorporate it into their electronic health record (EHR) system, so they don’t lose sight of anything important when treating the patient.
Without EHRs, important health information can easily get lost in the shuffle. Physical documents may get lost or damaged during transit. Providers may have to juggle several formats, documents, or interfaces when treating the patient, making it difficult to see the whole picture.
Remote Consultation for Better Time Management
Missed appointments, no-shows, last-minute cancelations, and rescheduling can delay the continuity of care, worsening patient outcomes. If a patient must physically travel to the doctor’s office to receive care in person, it increases the chances that they may miss or delay their appointment, especially if the patient is elderly, suffering from a chronic illness, or lacks access to transportation. This can leave large gaps in a provider’s schedule. Staff members will need to be paid for their time, regardless of whether the patient made it to their appointment.
Telehealth reduces the number of missed or delayed appointments by keeping patients at home where they are more comfortable. While some in-person appointments may be required, patients and providers can save time throughout the day with virtual consultations. Providers don’t have to worry about the patient missing their appointment, being late, or rescheduling at the last minute. Patients don’t have to worry about making a long commute or dealing with long wait times when they arrive at the office.
During a virtual consultation, providers can make more efficient use of their time. They will be able to see and consult with the patient on one side of the screen while reviewing their health records on the other side. Providers can easily find the information they need without taking their eyes off the patient.
Providers in the U.S. spend an average of 17 minutes with each patient. However, many providers feel pressure to reduce visit times while keeping their patients healthy and satisfied. On average, physicians who use telemedicine can reduce visit times by around 20%. In one study, the average visit time per patient was as low as 12 minutes without compromising the quality of care. With the latest technology, both patients and providers can make the most of their time without unexpected delays.
Telehealth can help you and your team work more efficiently while improving the quality of care your patients receive. Don’t waste time on routine processes and missed appointments. Visit InTouchHealth.com today to learn more about the benefits of telehealth.