We now look to telehealth not just for convenience, but for its safety and flexibility.
While the need for safety and saving lives during this pandemic has increased our usage of telehealth, we are seeing that it's capability to address everyday medical needs will make it part of our lives for good. Telehealth has always been a viable solution within our healthcare system, but now, in our new normal, we look to telehealth not just for convenience, but for its safety and flexibility. Accessing medical care through online virtual visits has been a much-needed lifeline for both healthcare providers and their patients. Providers, needing to reduce or stop in-person visits completely to prevent the spread of COVID-19, have found that adopting a telehealth solution in their practice allows them to screen patients for illnesses that require additional attention (including coronavirus), refer serious cases for additional care, evaluate patients for prescription medications, and provide follow-up for those already under their care. Many physicians who felt in-person care was the only way to effectively help patients have been pleasantly surprised and are ready to adopt this new reality as a permanent part of their patient care and not just a stopgap or interim measure.
Since the beginning of this medical crisis, healthcare providers have learned many lessons about the adoption of telehealth solutions for practices. Here are the top 5 that I’ve learned:
While it's unfortunate it had to happen under these circumstances, we are seeing with greater clarity that telehealth solutions can help protect patients and medical practices by providing patients with easier access to care, reducing the spread of serious infections, and easing burdens on providers by protecting them, providing efficiencies, and giving providers and patients more control of their schedules. In our new normal, we see virtual visits as a permanent part of how doctors and patients communicate, improving quality of care while making healthcare delivery more efficient. Those not getting on board in some way will become the exception rather than the rule.