How many times have you heard technology meets healthcare? Did you know there are a plethora of telehealth tools available that can help you to seamlessly manage your healthcare needs? Are you taking the benefitted by them?
With the moving time, home healthcare is witnessing an influx of the patients who are discharged from acute lengthy care from the hospitals as they reach a maximum capacity.
Irrespective of being Covid-19 or other high acuity patients who can be shifted to home health agencies to deliver care to a large number of patients. Simultaneously, the home health caretakers need to identify the strategies to deliver the right care while maintaining utmost safety of their patients.
What exactly is telehealth?
Telehealth technology refers to the use of digitalized information and communication channels, to access advanced healthcare services remotely. These technologies can be used by the patients or the doctors to connect with the patient & vice-versa, to enhance healthcare services.
The different ways for instance, telehealth could help you are as follows:
- You can use your smartphone or other device to upload medications, review reports, share earlier prescriptions. .
- Watch a video and download an app for it to your phone.
- You can use the app to estimate the dose of medicine needed.
- Take help of the online patient portal to see your test results, schedule appointments, request prescription refills or email your doctor.
- You can order testing supplies and medications online.
- Easily get a mobile retinal photo screening at your doctor’s office rather than scheduling an appointment with a specialist.
- Get email, text or phone reminders when you need preventive care.
Major goals of telehealth
Also known as e-health or m-health (mobile health), the key objectives of telehealth include the following:
- The advanced technology makes healthcare accessible especially to the people who live in rural or isolated communities.
- It helps to make services convenient for people with limited mobility, time or transportation options.
- Telehealth provides easy access to medical experts.
- It enhances communication and coordination of care among the healthcare members, team and patients.
- It delivers excellent support for self-management of healthcare.
Why telehealth for home healthcare?
Telehealth technology is an ultimate solution to help serve patients in remote areas. It comprises well designed services that can help to maximize the access to safe and reliable care, provide a cost-effective channel for patient communication, and improve health outcomes.
The advanced telehealth technology eases the patients life by reducing in-person interactions between providers and patients, while providing the care needed. The home health personnel need resources to help provide adequate care to patients under their charge.
6 Innovative ways telehealth is transforming the home health therapy
The home health agencies are relying on telehealth technology and leveraging virtual care to supplement their in-person visits so as to safely manage the upcoming influx of patients.But home health clinicians need to best use the virtual tools to reduce the spread of Covid-19 virus, while providing the right care and avoiding adverse events like re-hospitalization. More than ever, it is time for the home health community to incorporate telehealth into practice.
Let us discuss the different telehealth services that will benefit your healthcare.
#1. Online patient portal
The online patient portals are the substitute for Kissanime , which is not considered highly secure to communicate the private medical details. It is a great help for home health therapists as they do have to visit the hospital or clinic.
Having a portal provides tight security for following activities by staying at home itself.
- Have a comprehensive discussion with an expert doctor or a nurse.
- Easily place requests for prescription refills.
- Stay ahead by reviewing the test results and summaries of earlier visits.
- Schedule appointments with doctors or request appointment reminders.
#2. Provide virtual appointments
Many hospitals and clinics provide virtual appointments that enable patients to see the doctor via online video conferencing. These appointments help patients in receiving ongoing care from the regular doctor making home health therapy convenient.
These services are generally for minor illnesses, similar to the services available at a drop-in clinic. However, it is a benefit for the home health therapy as they do have to visit the doctor for the medication or consultation. Many big companies provide access to virtual doctors’ offices as a part of their health care offerings.
When you log into a web-based service, you are guided through a series of questions. The doctor can prescribe medications, suggest home care strategies or recommend additional medical care as well.
#3. Monitor health remotely
With the help of a variety of technologies, your doctor or his team can monitor your health remotely.
The technologies that eases home health therapy include:
- Web or mobile apps for uploading details instantly to the doctor or health care team
- Certain devices that measure and transmit information wirelessly like blood pressure, blood glucose etc.
- Automatically record and transmit info via wearable devices like heart rate, blood glucose, tremors, physical activity or sleep patterns.
- Home monitoring devices for senior people that detect changes in normal activities.
#4. Doc-to-doc conversation
Not only for home health therapy but also for the doctors, the telehealth technology helps to provide better care for their patients. Virtual consultation could be a good example that allows primary care doctors to get input from experts when they have queries about the diagnosis.
The doctor can share exam notes, history, test results, X-rays or other images to the specialist for review. On the other hand, the expert can revert electronically, conduct a virtual appointment with you at your doctor’s office, or request an in person meeting.
With these virtual consultations, you exempt unnecessary in-person referrals to a specialist, reduce wait times for expert’s input and avoid extra travel.
#5. Electronic personal health record system
Also known as a PHR system, comprises all the information about the patient’s health. A PHR app is accessible by the patient anytime via any web-enabled device like desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
The personal health record can quickly give emergency personnel vital information, such as current diagnoses, medications, drug allergies and the doctor’s contact information during the urgent times.
#6. Personal healthcare apps
There are many apps created to help consumers better organize their medical information in one secure place. These digital tools may help home health therapists in following ways:
- Storing the personal health details.
- Record all the vital symptoms and signs.
- Track and calculate the intake of calories.
- Schedule reminders for taking medicine.
- Maintain the physical activity records for daily step count etc.
Telehealth technology has the great potential to improve the quality of home health therapy and to make it accessible to more people. It opens opportunities to make home healthcare more efficient, better coordinated in the near future. Read more about Net Health.