The COVID-19 pandemic has been an eye-opener for what really matters in both personal and professional life. Healthcare providers are especially faced with new challenges: balancing best-practice patient care, reworking guidelines to protect and support their personnel, and much more. These challenges gave telehealth the chance to grab the spotlight.
The benefits of telehealth are striking, offering hospitals the chance to brand themselves as innovative and using cutting-edge technologically. And while the pandemic has pushed telehealth forward, its ability to provide a high level of medical care in numerous situations will make telehealth a permanent fixture in healthcare. Continuous improvements in technology and further simplifications of tedious processes support this evolution.1,2,3
Here, we summarize 8 reasons why you should consider telehealth to be part of the holistic health practice of your hospital.
- Expand Your Patient Base
A frustrating element of in-person care has always been late or no-show patients. It results in time lost for the Health Care Practitioner (HCP) as well as the lost opportunity to reach out to a new patient. Now, imagine HCP’s days full of virtual medical visits. There is a reduction of no-shows and increased treatment persistence4, mainly because of treatment success. In a survey based in the US, patients that experienced telehealth visits highly rated this type of healthcare (recommendations: > 80%)5,6, stating it was beneficial for their mental health as well.7
Additionally, HCPs’ patient base can be dramatically expanded since telehealth provides easy access and scheduling. In a cross-sectional survey, 52.5% of clinicians were convinced that virtual visits allow for higher efficiency, while quality was equal to that of in-person visits.5
For healthcare providers, the promotion of telehealth solutions can lead to increased patient numbers. Via telehealth opportunities, you easily enlarge the catchment area of your hospital. This is of particular interest in the countries, where most of the overall population lives in rural areas.6,8,9
- Increased Patient Flexibility
When scheduling a doctor’s appointment, patients must consider a variety of personal barriers, such as: travel time, time off work, childcare, and more. Telehealth visits dramatically reduce these accompanying problems, leading to stress reduction and increased flexibility – even in emergency situations. In fact, this kind of convenience was highly appreciated and preferred by established patients as shown by Donelan et al.5
In a survey among telehealth patients in the UK conducted by Dhahri et al., family closeness was one of the most appreciated advantages of telehealth.10 This may be due to elderly patients or children having support from their adult family members during virtual visits. In a cross-sectional telehealth narrative analysis conducted by Kruse et al., preferred modality and improved self-management were among the most frequent factors mentioned by patients.11
Based on this, in addition to medical advantages, patients benefit as well from reduced transportation and waiting times. Collectively, on-demand virtual visits can help your patients to balance work, life, and healthcare.
- Increase Collaboration Opportunities between Medical Disciplines
A full-service hospital combines