Smartphones are everywhere, internet connections are faster and consumers are eager to engage with doctors on their own time from the convenience of their home or office. Doctors are now finding better, cheaper and more efficient ways to deliver healthcare services than other practices. Where the technology demand also raised.
According to the American Telemedicine Association, more than 15 million Americans receive some kind of remote medical care, and that number was expected to grow by 80% in 2020. In countries like India rural healthcare IT infrastructure needs to be upgraded and modernised to enable faster, safer and more efficient delivery. But the healthcare facilitators can support rural people with Assisted services by enabling telemedicine satellite centres.
In a Geisinger Health Plan Telehealth study, respondents cited that they achieved 11 percent cost savings after using a telehealth solution. All in all, this accounted for a $3.30 return for every dollar spent on product.
Healthcare facilitators can launch their TeleMed solution as a managed service by getting a monthly or yearly subscription fee or on a per consultation basis from patients. Rather than signup with other telecom providers, it is better to offer your own Telehealth platform for your patients as software as service model.
Let see how to practice telemedicine with a budget that is affordable and to improve access to care for patients by minimising the inconvenience of travel time and the associated costs. There are certain things to be lined up before you start your Telehealth practice
The basic instructions and guidelines needs to be provided to the staff with a ‘how to’ guide that helps the Specialist to use Telehealth facilities to meet best practice standards. All the Specialists and staffs should be trained on Telehealth platform to avoid laps in managing the process.
Typically, a practical checklist needs to be developed for clinicians undertaking Telehealth consultations. There are four stages mainly,
When taking part in Telehealth consultations it is important to make sure the rooms that the treating Clinician and patient are using are private with no audible external noise and disturbances which might interrupt the consultation. Audio-visual quality should be tested prior to any videoconference, and the camera positioned so that everyone in the room/s can be visible during the consultation.
TeleMed allows Patients and Doctors to converse on Mobile applications hence a quiet room with good internet Connectivity is sufficient to carry out the Telehealth visits. If the Doctors have a PC with web portal loaded, they could take down the notes quickly during or after the visit is completed
Prior to the patient participating in a Telehealth consultation it is helpful to provide them with some background information on what a Telehealth encounter is and what to expect if they have never participated in one before. This will also help and encourage patient to participate in future calls and they feel Telehealth as the most convenient and time saving method of Primary and Chronic Care consultations
It is essential that documentation in the Visits are completed by the Doctor at both ends of the Telehealth consultation in accordance with medico-legal requirements in their respective Countries. For scenarios where there is only a treating clinician and no one is with the patient at the time of consultation, typically in a “non Assisted” method of Telemedicine, it is the responsibility of that treating clinician to enter the notes into the patients Visit (SOAP Note)
TeleMed allows Doctors to write a Visit note that includes Diagnosis, Investigations, Digital Prescriptions and also upload related EMR files with the case notes. This is handy information for the Doctor, when this same Patient calls in next time for a related medical problem
There are couple of ways we can promote the Telehealth service.