What is Telemedicine ?
Zapclinica - Last updated : 4/29/2021, 12:57:43 AM
What is Telemedicine Healthcare
Telemedicine enables healthcare professionals to use telecommunications technology to remotely assess, diagnose, and treat patients.In the past ten years, this approach has undergone a deep evolution and is becoming an increasingly important part of the healthcare infrastructure.
Telemedicine is simply defined as, “the remote delivery of healthcare services“. There are 3 common types of telemedicine, which include but not limited to:
- Interactive Medicine – which allows patients and physicians to communicate in real-time while maintaining HIPAA compliance
- Store and Forward – which permits providers to share patient information with a practitioner in another location.
- Remote Patient Monitoring – which allows remote caregivers to monitor patients that reside at home by using mobile medical devices to collect data (e.g. blood sugar or blood pressure)
There are few limitations to how telemedicine can be applied. Here are a few examples of how it is being used today.
Using health software for routine follow-up visits is not only more efficient for providers and patients, but it also increases the likelihood of follow-up, reducing missed appointments and improving patient outcomes.
Remote chronic disease management
The increasing rate of chronic disease is a major challenge for our health system. It is a prime candidate for the use of telemedicine software because it makes it easier and less expensive for patients to maintain control over their health.
Remote post-hospitalization care
One telehealth program for patients with congestive heart failure reduced 30-day hospital readmissions by 73 percent and six-month readmissions by 50 percent.
Preventative care support
Weight loss and smoking cessation are the keys to reducing heart disease and a host of other conditions. Telemedicine can be a valuable tool in connecting providers with patients to make sure they get the support they need to be successful.
When children become ill at school, they might visit a school nurse or be picked up by their parents and taken to an urgent care center. Some innovative districts have teamed up with doctors to conduct remote visits from the school. The provider can assess the urgency of the case and provide instructions or reassurance to parents.
Assisted living center support
Telemedicine software has already proven to be useful in keeping residence of assisted living facilities out of the hospital. Problems often occur at night or on weekends, making hospitalization the only option even for less urgent problems. With telemedicine, on-call doctors can conduct a remote visit to determine if hospitalization is necessary.
How is telemedicine set up?
It can be simple or complex for a provider to implement telemedicine into their practice. Most require a basic HIPAA-compliant video conference software for solo practitioners and clinics to start delivering telemedicine consultation.
For providers looking to have a complete virtual clinic solution, they need to consider their existing workflow and incorporate the telemedicine software solution into their practice. Usually, these software need to have a waiting room, EHR, and payment function.
Large medical groups or hospitals usually require custom telehealth solutions to fit into their existing workflow to lessen the disruption of adopting telemedicine as it's harder to train large numbers of physicians to change their behavior.
Besides the software part, providers should do due diligence on the telehealth regulations and reimbursement policy for their country or state, which will be discussed later in this article.
Organizations will have to change operationally and know the regulations, legalities, and technological aspects of implementing telemedicine. Many organizations decide to partner with a telemedicine company to make the transition and implementation easier.
How is it Conducted?
Telemedicine is conducted in several ways. The most basic is just a simple video call (like you usually do with family and friends). However, most countries require a secure HIPAA compliant video conference tool, so telemedicine companies provide this secure and simple-to-use solution for providers.
Telemedicine is also conducted with portable telemedicine kits that include a computer and mobile medical devices, such as ECGs or vital signs monitors. High-resolution digital cameras are also available for physicians to send detailed medical images to specialists.
Lastly, there is robust telemedicine software that allows everything from data storage to live video conferencing. Overall, there are many innovative telemedicine equipments to meet the various needs of patients today.-