Telehealth is a way for patients and providers to communicate via a variety of technologies, allowing for more efficient and convenient healthcare options. Not only does it strengthen patient-provider relationships, but it offers many new ways to manage charts, collect data, and offer educational information. There are three main categories of telehealth.
- Provider to patient. Establishing a good relationship with your primary care doctor is an important way to ensure the healthiest outcomes. But in today’s busy world, it can be hard to make in-office visits. Telehealth gives providers the opportunity to take care of patients remotely. Most of the time this is done through a video conference, such as South Shore Health’s CareNow However, text and email can also be used depending on the situation. One of the biggest benefits to patients is that they’re able to seek medical care from the comfort of their own home. In fact, 70% of patients report being comfortable communicating with their physician via text, email, or video.1
- Provider to provider. Many times there will be a need for coordination of care, where a provider needs to be in contact with a specialist. Telehealth can act as an interface between the two. Maybe your primary care doctor will need to communicate with a radiologist regarding x-rays, or wants to develop a treatment plan with your orthopedic surgeon, or even communicate with various bedside nurses during a hospital stay. When there’s a chain of communication like this, the ability to relay information in a clear and concise way is extremely important for the best outcomes.
- Patient forward. Another way telehealth is widely used is for patients to be able to easily access health records. Many healthcare systems offer portals, such as South Shore Health’s MyChart, where you’re not only able to access your medical records, but also your children’s records, request appointments, pay bills, request refills, view test results, and securely communicate with your provider’s office.
Healthcare is as dynamic as ever and there’s a broad spectrum of telehealth offerings. By 2024, it is estimated that 15% of visits will occur via Telemedicine.1 Today, 19% of American adults who own smartphones already have at least one health app on their device1, which means telehealth isn’t just the future of healthcare, it’s the present. Learn how South Shore Health is taking advantage of this expanding realm of technology and virtual care, and what telehealth can do for you.
- Virtual Health Infographic | Sg2. [online] Sg2. Available at: https://www.sg2.com/health-care-intelligence-blog/2016/07/sg2-virtual-health-infographic/ [Accessed 23 Oct. 2018]