How to Avoid Common Pitfalls When Embracing New Telehealth Technology
Learn How Telehealth Can Help Hospital Administrators Reduce Provider Capacity Management Mistakes
Provider capacity management is one of the biggest determining factors for success in the healthcare industry. Hospital administrators need to balance patient demand with the facility’s resources to provide care to as many patients as possible, without subjecting the staff to burnout and fatigue.
If administrators overwhelm the system with too many patients, the staff may be stretched too thin, which leads to poor patient outcomes and long wait times. This could even damage the facility’s reputation. However, if administrators accept too few patients or fail to anticipate changes in demand, resources may go underutilized and the facility’s revenue stream will suffer as a result.
Fortunately, embracing new telehealth technology can help facilities minimize these capacity management headaches. Telehealth is changing provider capacity management for the better by increasing both patient access to care and the facility’s revenue, without overwhelming the providers on staff.
Reduce Unnecessary Patient Visits and Long Wait Times
In the United States, 28% of men and 17% of women don’t have a designated personal healthcare provider; the numbers are even worse for millennials and minorities. By not scheduling an appointment or regularly managing their health, patients without a primary care provider can overwhelm urgent care centers and hospital staff, throwing off the facility’s patient demand forecasts.
Telehealth can reduce the number of unnecessary patient visits by enabling physicians to remotely consult with patients in the comfort of their own homes. If a patient is concerned about their health, they can consult with a physician using live video and audio to see if a trip to the hospital or doctor’s office is necessary. Doctors can assess the patient’s symptoms, prescribe medications, and prepare for an in-person visit, reducing the number of unexpected visits and long patient wait times.
Increase Access to Specialty Care
With a limited number of specialized care providers on staff, managing capacity for specialty care centers can be a challenge for many healthcare facilities. Patients may be subject to long wait times, delayed care, and limited access to specialized services if facility administrators can’t keep up with demand. However, telehealth can reduce demand by extending patient access to specialty services.
Specialized care providers can consult with patients remotely to reduce the number of patients seeking in-person care. Providers can follow up with and triage stroke patients, deliver ICU treatment and manage a patient’s symptoms without taking up precious bed space or subjecting other patients to long wait times.
Minimize Hospital Readmissions
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) can decrease patient demand and capacity management mistakes by reducing the rate of hospital readmissions. Care providers can assess and manage a patient’s symptoms once they leave the hospital. This helps minimize the chances of readmission, keeping as many beds open as possible for new patients.
With RPM, patients can record their eating and lifestyle habits and take their temperature, pulse, and heart rate. They’re able to make important medical information available to providers without leaving their homes, helping facilitate their own care without having to spend time in a hospital.
This lowers the cost of care for both facilities and patients, helping everyone make the most of their time by not requiring patients to come in for in-person appointments. Providers can better care for those suffering from a chronic condition, or those recovering from surgery or stroke by making sure they’re staying healthy and any symptoms are under control.
Telehealth is helping hospital administrators better manage capacity and patient demand by treating patients at home, preventing unnecessary visits and reducing readmission rates. If fewer patients are seeking in-person care, more space will be available to those with urgent medical needs. Staff members can make the most of their time on the floor without having to worry as much about burnout and fatigue.
Learn How Telehealth Can Help Hospital Administrators Reduce Provider Capacity Management MistakesAdministrators can also improve their facility’s reputation in the healthcare community by treating patients quickly and effectively, instead of subjecting them to long wait times and risking poor patient outcomes. Learn more about the benefits of this new technology from one of the industry’s top telemedicine companies, InTouch Health.