Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

Benefits and challenges of telehealth in modern healthcare

Telemedicine is no longer a buzzword in modern healthcare circles. With the growing use of technology and the sudden emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, the healthcare sector is now turning to telemedicine to meet the rapidly evolving needs of its patients.

A comprehensive CMS survey reveals that telemedicine visits increased to 52.7 million in 2020 from roughly 840,000 in 2019. Using telemedicine, healthcare organizations can provide patients with easy access to specialists and reduce medical overhead while preventing exposure to pathogens.

Despite its overwhelming advantages, its rapid adoption has also brought several challenges for healthcare professionals in every specialization. This article outlines telemedicine’s benefits and challenges to the modern healthcare sector.

Benefits of telemedicine

The benefits of telemedicine are two-fold. It results in better patient outcomes and makes lives easier for care physicians, nurses, and medical technologists. This section will comprehensively discuss how telemedicine improves patient lives and the jobs of healthcare professionals.

  • It reduces strain on the healthcare system

Patient care access is still a significant issue in modern countries, like the United States. According to a recent survey by the Commonwealth Fund, roughly 50% of American adults still struggle to get healthcare. The survey added that patients spend an average of 45 minutes traveling to their medical appointments and another 75 minutes with their doctors.

By taking advantage of telemedicine, healthcare institutions can deliver appropriate patient care while ensuring costs are controlled. On the patient’s side, it empowers them to gain easy access to specialists to prevent the risky behavior and reduce further complications.

  • It helps patients with limited mobility

People with disabilities usually battle increasing rates of chronic illnesses and endure significant financial difficulty covering the cost of care. A recent WHO survey shows that roughly 40.5% of adults with disability suffer from financial problems due to healthcare.

Since telemedicine is less expensive and does not require patients to travel from one place to another, People with disability (PWD) patients can receive annual routine checkups and preventative care. The advantage of telemedicine is that it not only prevents the patient’s conditions from getting to a critical state but also knocks down such barriers as long wait times, scheduling, and transportation.

  • It provides better patient assessments

Hospital readmission is a common trend nowadays. Although readmission rates differ nationwide, the general average is around 15%, according to recent data. Now, you might be wondering what results in the sudden increase in hospital readmissions.

Most often, hospital readmissions are due to subpar transitional care. Using telemedicine, healthcare institutions can empower specialty practitioners to see patients in their home environment. This, in turn, allows them to provide better assessments.

  • It increases collaboration between medical disciplines

Interprofessional collaboration in healthcare is no longer an option for preventing medical errors and improving patient experience. The reality is that much of healthcare is a waiting game. Patients wait for doctors while these physicians wait for lab results from medical and radiologic technologies.

Using telemedicine, healthcare institutions can bridge the gaps between several departments and ensure care team members are connected to reduce inefficiencies and achieve better treatment outcomes. If that’s not good enough, combining expertise also improves diagnostic value since it expedites timely care and offers patients extensive options for delivering care.

Challenges of telemedicine

Telemedicine concerns privacy and adoption within healthcare circles, like other digital technologies. Addressing these challenges requires patients and healthcare professionals to know them in the first place. So, let’s get started.

  • Patients’ lack of technical skills

Most often, the challenge of implementing telemedicine stems from the patients’ lack of technical skills to navigate modern technologies. When patients do not understand how to use telemedicine services, it can hamper accessibility and utilization.

So, before implementing telemedicine, healthcare institutions must survey patients to get a consensus on the device they would be most comfortable using when acquiring services. This is incredibly advantageous because it allows hospitals to identify ways to promote their telemedicine services to raise awareness and ensure that their efforts to digitalize do not fall by the wayside.

  • Employees’ resistance to technology

Employee resistance is perhaps the most significant challenge of implementing telemedicine in the workplace. A Harvard Business Review survey shows that 87% of organizations experience employee pushback when implementing a new technological innovation. Most employees fear that using such technologies can make their jobs even more complicated.

However, that is far from the truth, especially if you have an online FNP degree from a prestigious academic institution, such as Baylor University. More often than not, advanced nursing degrees prepare students to spearhead healthcare delivery by helping them acclimate to emerging medical technologies and ensure seamless adoption.

Depending on your chosen academic institution, advanced nursing degree programs usually provide students with comprehensive training guides on navigating these telemedicine and healthcare systems. If that’s not good enough, instructors will also train students how to use these systems firsthand to maximize the usage of available resources.

  • Privacy concerns

While telemedicine services can provide healthcare professionals and patients with their desired convenience, they can also be a gateway for hackers to access critical patient data.

Moreover, several healthcare rules and regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, require healthcare professionals to encrypt information gathered using telemedicine services. Now, you might ask how nurses can learn the intricacies of these regulations and prevent data breaches.

Although there are several ways to do it, everything still boils down to educating healthcare professionals about these emerging threats and regulations. Taking advanced nursing courses empowers healthcare professionals to know about these issues and regulations so they can better respond to them.

Maximizing the benefits of telemedicine

The benefits of telemedicine are endless. To maximize these benefits, healthcare institutions need qualified medical professionals to navigate these technologies. Become that qualified professional every healthcare institution needs by signing up and enrolling in an online FNP degree program today.

Related Articles

Back to top button