Dr. Andrew Barbash, MD
Neurologist and founder of Updox
Telehealth solutions have become an integral part of the healthcare industry, offering numerous benefits to both patients and providers. The surge in demand for telehealth technology is a testament to its usefulness and effectiveness in enhancing healthcare for many.
Updox's suite of practice communication solutions provide HIPAA-compliant telehealth options to fit your practice's needs and can be a vital tool for modern-day practices.In this interview, Dr. Andrew Barbash, MD, the founder of Updox, provides insights into the significance of telehealth in today’s healthcare environment.
What is Telehealth and Why Is It Important?
“Telehealth can be defined as any aspect of healthcare that occurs between patients and providers without being physically present in the same room” says Dr. Barbash.
The remote delivery of healthcare services can be done through technology such as live video conferencing, emails, SMS, and smartphone applications. These solutions enable healthcare providers to deliver medical services without the patient needing to visit a hospital or clinic.
"Telehealth is a key component within the spectrum of healthcare, but doesn't substitute all in-person care completely,” explains Dr. Barbash. “As providers learn the benefits of these tools, practices can leverage telehealth as an adjunct to direct in-person care."
Telehealth services offer convenient and timely medical attention, sparing patients from enduring lengthy waits in clinics and hospitals. In addition to saving time, telehealth can effectively lower medical expenses by eliminating the need for work absences, transportation costs, and childcare fees associated with seeking medical care.
Who can benefit from Telehealth capabilities?
Both patients and healthcare providers can benefit from telehealth and video conferencing capabilities.
Telehealth offers flexibility, as patients can book virtual appointments at times that are convenient for them, eliminating the need for travel and time off. Virtual appointments can be especially helpful for those who have chronic medical conditions, mobility issues, live in rural areas where travel distances are a concern, or urban areas where traffic and parking are concerns.
Features like secure SMS enable better communication between physicians and patients, reduce missed appointments and improve the continuity of care. “All the texts exchanged before and after visits, the ability to easily send a form or photo, to ask a couple of key questions in advance, makes the visit more effective and more efficient,” explains Dr. Barbash.
Telehealth also saves time on numerous administrative tasks, “When workflows take just 15 minutes instead of an hour for doctors and their staff, the cost of clinical care services decreases without impacting practice reimbursement,” says Dr. Barbash.
What are some scenarios of using telehealth in day-to-day life?
The list of scenarios applicable to telehealth is only limited by our collective imaginations. One key example is the routine follow-up appointment for a variety of issues. After an injury, the provider can send a text reminder to the patient requesting a photo of how a wound is healing. The injured patient is spared the trouble of having to make it into the office for follow-up care.
Healthcare providers can also leverage telehealth solutions to see patients with chronic conditions more frequently, and ultimately leading to better outcomes. This technology can enhance the collaboration of healthcare providers as well, allowing specialists to consult with other providers in different locations. It also allows patients to include family members or other advocates in the conversation.
“This can be a one-on-one video chat or involve one or more people, such as interpreters, family caregivers, or specialists, having a group conversation in real time can make a big difference in quality of care” says Dr. Barbash.
Telehealth may also be used for mental health appointments, where patients can receive care and treatment in a more relaxed and comfortable environment. Behavioral Health is the fastest growing specialty for Telehealth adoption, and these technological advancements facilitate improvements to individual and group care.
“Within the field of behavioral health, there’s a shortage of professionals relative to the number of people who need therapy, and telehealth really opens the gateway to care,” says Dr. Barbash.
What makes Updox Telehealth unique?
Updox telehealth solutions offer a cost-effective, efficient, and user-friendly way for healthcare providers to embrace the future of telemedicine. Our comprehensive suite of telehealth features facilitates virtual appointments, video consultations, and secure messaging.
“It’s not just that Updox has a video chat feature, it's the fact that all the Updox solutions work together to make that video chat experience seamless,” says Dr. Barbash. “Our technology works to streamline the capture of information from patients in a reliable, consistent way.”
With a comprehensive set of features, including secure fax and text messaging, online forms, customizable templates, and broadcast messaging, collecting information ahead of the appointment makes each video chat experience more efficient and effective.
What also sets Updox apart is its seamless integration with electronic health record (EHR) systems, patient portals, and other healthcare software. This enables providers to offer a more holistic and streamlined approach to patient care, with digital tools that help to reduce administrative burdens. Healthcare professionals can easily connect with their patients anytime, anywhere, and on any device. The platform also ensures that telehealth encounters remain secure and HIPAA-compliant.
If you’re interested in how telehealth can help your practice operate more effectively, schedule your personalized demo today!