Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Published 7:38 AM by with 0 comment

The different types of TeleHealth

The use of TeleHealth is on the rise. You know it and you must have also read numerous blogs and articles which write of how TeleHealth's usage has been a gift for doctors and patients alike during the Covid pandemic.

In this post, we show the distinction between the several types of telehealth as is being practiced today. 

eVisit - An online patient assessment to inform or establish the diagnosis. This is typically algorithm-driven

Video Visit - A live, interactive consult between a patient and provider

Teleconsult - A live video–enabled consult between a primary care provider and a nurse or home care specialist assisting in rendering a diagnosis and/or care 

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) - The use of devices to collect and transmit patient data to a provider, or a diagnostic testing facility for monitoring and interpretation the patient

Store and forward The transmission of diagnostic images, vital signs, and/or video clips along with patient data for review by a provider for diagnosis and care. 

Mobile health (mHealth) - The use of mobile phones and other devices to obtain health information, access a provider and digital health portals and conduct video visits

Want to know how TeleHealth can help your practice improve staff efficiencies? Contact TrueTeleHealth 

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Published 5:47 AM by with 1 comment

Predicting how TeleHealth will impact Healthcare in the future

Decentralize the healthcare system

Healthcare professionals tend to migrate from large hospital complexes, often ending up opening smaller community-based practices. This trend is particularly significant in massive hospitals that tend to offer their more specialized services in their centralized locations.

We can expect that the younger healthcare professionals will benefit from the flexibility TeleHealth offers, and push for the decentralization of services. They might open the doors of their own TeleHealth practices or influence their employers – massive hospitals – to invest in such facilities. This will, in turn, give rise to a decentralized healthcare system with TeleHealth as it base.

Smaller practices will be partnered up with TeleHealth giants

As business costs will rise and regulations will become stricter, small practices struggle to stay afloat, even today.
In the future, a majority of them will turn to TeleHealth firms to help them improve their revenues.
Such partnerships will enable such providers to offer specialized services using the advanced infrastructure and software of their partners.

Increase advanced Technology applications for healthcare 

Since an increasing number of patients are now using mobile applications in their regular life, in the future, we’re going to see TeleHealth turn to be used on mobile phones, integrate with Mobile apps,  both on the provider as well as the patient side.
Healthcare providers are going to invest in innovative mobile applications that will streamline communication between patients and caregivers, allow remote monitoring, manage medication reminders, and offer patients information.  
Apps will also gather key patient information to enable personalized services and display it on comprehensive healthcare dashboards.

Increase in investment in cybersecurity

Since TeleHealth relies on digital technologies, cybersecurity is a key issue in its future development.
The healthcare industry has experienced cyber-attacks before, and as TeleHealth becomes more popular, data protection is going to become a top priority for healthcare providers.
We’re likely to see significant changes in how the TeleHealth sector protects confidential information, which will be an improvement in how E-Health companies have been doing so for the past decade.
There will be investments in developing cybersecurity tools to prevent database breaches and other forms of hacking. Tools are going to rely on artificial intelligence algorithms able to pick up any suspicious activity in real-time.  Such tools will enable system administrators not only to react to incidents but proactively prevent them.

The increasing popularity of out-of-the-box health software

In the past, hospitals have had a predilection to using proprietary software to offer their services to patients. This seems to be soon changing with the increased use of TeleHealth. A lot of this is to do with the democratization offered by TeleHealth.
Out-of-the-box solutions prove to be much more affordable than the costs of creating, implementing and maintaining proprietary systems. 

Want to know how TeleHealth can help your practice improve staff efficiencies? Contact TrueTeleHealth 

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Published 5:14 AM by with 0 comment

How TeleHealth can enhance your practice revenue

Profitability is healthy. It allows one and one's practice to stay financially secure. Implementing a TeleHealth program is a low-risk, high-reward way to get there.

Here are some ways how:

Reduce No-Shows and Cancelations
The most valuable asset in any medical practice is the doctor's time. When a patient doesn’t show up or cancels at the last minute, the doctor's time is wasted. Unless a strict no-show policy is in place and enforced, 
 this time and the associated revenue can’t be recovered 

Tele visits help keep no-shows and late cancelations to a minimum by making it more convenient for patients to keep their appointments. 

Allow More Visits without staff overheads

Because tele-visits are easy and require no real overhead, except for a laptop or a phone, most doctors find that they can schedule them easily even from home. 
Telehealth also gives practices and doctors the option of expanding their consulting hours. What’s more, if someone calls to cancel an in-person appointment, it may be possible to simply change it to a tele-visit instead.

A doctor scheduling in a couple of tele-visits a day will be able to pile up a considerable amount of revenue from the tele-practice. For example, a doctors who just conducts 3 tele-visits a day, at an average reimbursement of $50, will earn around about an extra $50K in revenue in the year.

Increase your reach beyond your local geographical limitations.

When people know they won’t have to go into the office for every visit, they can consider doctors at a distance. They may pick that physician that their friend in another city always speaks about. They can pick that doctor they used to go to before the changes residence. And, they can feel more comfortable getting second and third opinions on their prescribed care.

Improve the Efficiency of Office Staff
Over time, Tele-visits result in fewer patient visits at the office, thus making the wait times better for patients who do come in, and reducing the pressure on your office staff.

This results in higher customer satisfaction for patients. This also frees your team up to do other tasks or to focus on finding opportunities for improvement within the office.

Related reading from the TrueTeleHealth blog "Using Telehealth to optimize health worker staffing needs"

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Sunday, July 5, 2020

Published 11:51 AM by with 0 comment

The TeleHealth FAQ for patients

Telehealth is an easy and convenient way to access a doctor when one needs to. However, as with any technology, there are likely to be a few issues you'll end up facing every once in a while, especially as you are starting off with it.

We’ve put together this list of commonly asked questions answered by our in-house experts so you can be more assured as you start your next telehealth session. This post will obviously be updated regularly so it stays current. 

If you encounter issues and don’t know what to do, send us your question via the comments section below, or Contact TrueTeleHealth.

To make it possible for you to have a successful virtual visit every time, we at TrueTeleHealth put together a TeleHealth Prep list which you can access at the following link. http://blog.truetelehealth.com/2020/07/the-telehealth-preplist-for-patients.html

Q. I unable to login to the software? What do I do?

TrueTeleHealth Expert: Try to enter the username and password again. Check if CapsLock is on/ If its On, put it off. If this does not work, try to reset the password. If that is not working, it could be because your internet connection has gone off, or the TeleHealth provider is facing issues at their server end. Finally, if nothing works, call the support number of your TeleHealth provider.

Q. Why isn’t my video loading?

TrueTeleHealth Expert:  First, check if you have your webcam all set up.  If you’re using a mobile phone, iPad, or laptop,  you typically will be using the integrated camera. And if you’re on a desktop computer, you may be using a separate webcam.

Now, go to your device’s control panel or settings menu and look for your webcam under devices. Test it out to see if it’s working.

If this works, check your internet connection. Having a solid internet connection is critical to being able to carry out a tele-consult.

Q. Why is the video quality bad?

TrueTeleHealth Expert:  Check your internet connection.  Poor video quality is typically caused by a poor internet connection.

To test your internet connection speed, visit https://fast.com. A minimum speed of 8Mbps (preferably 10Mbps+) is needed for a good Virtual consult.

Q. Why can't I hear the doctor?

TrueTeleHealth Expert:  Check if your speaker's volume is turned up.  To test it out, play a song from your device, or if you don't have one available on the device, play one on YouTube or Spotify.

Q. Why can’t the doctor hear me?

TrueTeleHealth Expert: Check if your microphone is working. If you’re using a mobile phone, iPad, or laptop,  you typically will be using the integrated mic. And if you’re on a desktop computer, you may be using an external microphone.

Go to your device panel or settings and make sure your microphone is set-up. There will be a test audio settings option in your TeleHealth Software to test it out. In case you are not using a TeleHealth software but a video conferencing tool like Zoom or Skype, they also have a test audio settings option within their settings.

Q. Can I just use Facetime or Skype to have a video consult with my doctor?

TrueTeleHealth Expert: You can, but it is not advised unless its an emergency.  Some doctors do offer virtual visits through apps like Facetime, Skype, and Zoom,  but that these apps are not HIPAA-compliant and neither are they well suited for consults by doctors. Doctors have to also separately manage the documentation for the consult, their investigation notes, ePrescribe, etc. So it's recommended that a TeleHealth software is used for this purpose.

These are the common questions we encounter from patients. If you encounter issues not listed here, and don’t know what to do, send us your question via the comments section below, or Contact TrueTeleHealth.

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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Published 5:22 AM by with 0 comment

The TeleHealth Preplist for Patients

Telehealth is an easy and convenient way to access a doctor, when one needs to. To make it possible for you to have a successful virtual visit every time, we at TrueTeleHealth have put together this TeleHealth Prep list.

1. Get the location right

Before your appointment starts, find a spot that is quiet and lit up, where you can speak freely with your doctor without interruptions, and in case the doctor wants you to show something, it's possible without resorting to phone torches.

2. Do a mike check.
Whether you’re going to be using a computer, laptop, iPad, or phone for the virtual visit, make sure that the camera and microphone are working fine. Don't start the call and then carry out the audio test. Instead, do it beforehand.

3. Go over your TeleHealth software pre-visit.
Most software today is easy to use, nonetheless, it is advisable to go through the software and read up the help guide beforehand so you can make the most of it.

4. Keep your vital information handy.
Weigh yourself, take your temperature, and is possible check your heart rate and blood pressure pre-visit so you can share that with your doctor.

5. Be prepared
Remind the doctor at the beginning of your appointment about any pre-existing conditions you might have so they can properly evaluate you

If you have a rash or throat symptoms, have a flashlight handy so that your doctor can see clearly via the screen. If possible, take a video of the affected part in excellent light.

Have your medication right near you during your video call so that you can review doses and side effects.

6. Take notes.
Before your call, make a list of questions and symptoms to go over with your doctor. Keep a pen close for taking notes, suggestions, or follow-ups to your medications and diet provided by your doctor during the visit.

7. Discuss next steps:

Do not forget to discuss what to do next during your visit.
Please leave us comments via the comment box below about any telehealth questions you have and we will be glad to answer.

As with any technology, there are likely to be a few technical glitches every once in a while. 

Fret not. We are putting together a TeleHealth FAQ for patients which shall help soothe your nerves and figure stuff out when something goes wrong. Look for it at the TrueTeleHealth blog this weekend.

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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Published 11:13 PM by with 0 comment

The TrueTeleHealth Expert Picks for the week ending June 28th

In this segment, we bring you articles, news, and updates carefully chosen by our in-house medical experts.

This week Vinnie picked some fantastic pieces which deal with the future of TeleHealth in America and abroad.

In their weekly round up National Law Review covers how Lawmakers are Pushing to Make Some Telehealth Changes Permanent.

Florence Health talks about how Covid-19 has pushed TeleHealth into mainstream medicine, citing the example of New York University’s Langone Health which saw a 683% increase in telehealth visits

Clint Philips writes about Why telemedicine needs more than just video chat to be successful - https://medcitynews.com/2020/06/why-telemedicine-needs-more-than-just-video-chat-to-be-successful/?rf=1

In the Citizen Tribune, Christine from Strate Insurance Group writes how during COVID-19, telehealth has become one of the safest and most available sources of medical and mental health care. She urges citizens that If they have not tried their provider’s telehealth option, this is a great time to do it.

For the last six weeks, physician assistant students at the University of New England have received a crash course in telehealth due to the COVID-19 outbreak. https://www.wmtw.com/article/une-physician-assistant-students-continue-learning-through-telemedicine/32909416#

The Missouri Division of Developmental Disabilities has signed a deal to offer telemedicine services at no cost to about 15,000 Medicaid Waiver users.

A survey by HCP Live shows Practitioners Leaning Toward Telemedicine Future

On to some concerns, Bloomberg writes about how Telehealth Consent Requirements Raise Litigation, Payment Issues

From around the world:

In Korea, Hospitals and clinics seem divided over telemedicine in the post Covid-19 era

In India, the Government has issued the Telemedicine Practice Guidelines for enabling the Registered Medical Practitioners to provide healthcare services using the various telecommunication and digital communication technologies https://yourstory.com/2020/06/healthcare-telemedicine-practice-guidelines-covid-19-india

In sync with this, the Indian insurance regulator has directed all insurers to include TeleMedicine as part of the claim settlement of policies.

Please leave us comments via the comment box below about what telehealth questions you have and we will be glad to answer.

You can also contact TrueTeleHealth via our website https://www.truetelehealth.com/
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Published 9:08 AM by with 1 comment

Using Telehealth to optimize health worker staffing needs

The demand for healthcare services is rising. As baby boomers age and the number of Americans living with at least one chronic condition grows, this trend is expected to increase. And thus the demand for health workers is expected to keep increasing, where in fact there is clearly a shortage.
Here are some ways TeleHealth can help Hospitals and clinics address this skewed supply-demand problem.

Health Workers embracing TeleHealthClinics Can Use Telemedicine to Improve Staff Efficiency
By bringing about efficiency in how a care process and patient monitoring can be carried out, Telehealth can reduce the time nurses and there medical staff members have to physically spend with each patient. Using screening tools and remote patient monitoring, the medical staff members can be more effective at what they do best.

Digital Health can reduce the need for Healthcare Services

Telehealth can help facilities reduce the number of patients that require in-person healthcare services. Patients recovering from surgery and those with severe chronic conditions can be remotely monitored at all hours of the day.

Doctors can use digital health apps, instant messaging, and video consults to remotely check up on their patients. With 24/7 access to their patients, providers can use this technology to improve health outcomes and prevent possible emergencies down the line.

Instead of having doctors and nurses walk from ward to room, clinics/hospitals can use remote patient monitoring tools to keep an eye on the patients while they recover in the comfort of their own homes. Doctors can monitor the patient’s vitals, send them important reminders, and can actually help them be more connected to the care process.

Effective Patient Education

Nurses typically spend about 10% of their time educating patients about their diagnoses and treatment recommendations. With digital health tools, nurses can quickly educate their patients efficiently and effectively.
As the healthcare industry continues to adapt to these changes, more facilities will adopt Telehealth services to reduce the need for additional staff members. And as the TeleHealth products get better with time, the efficiencies they bring will also increase. 

Contact TrueTeleHealth to discuss how TeleHealth can help your practice improve staff efficiencies.

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Published 6:27 AM by with 0 comment

Improving the Doctor-Patient Relationship with TeleHealth

Doctors are used to seeing and treating their patients in person. Over the years, a number of doctors we met were worried that TeleHealth may not be effective as the actual process of the meeting could not be replaced by virtual meeting technology.

Covid-19 has led to the mass adoption of TeleHealth due to its ability to allow care provision without in-person meetings. And as many doctors now using TeleHealth are finding out, telehealth can actually improve the doctor-patient relationship.

What one needs to understand is that Telehealth doesn’t fully replace in-person care, but it supplements the doctor-patient relationship in a number of ways, which makes the overall impact of virtual care as useful as in-person care.

Doctors can use TeleHealth to address a wide range of health issues, including everyday aches and pains, rashes, the flu, and common cold, standard follow-up appointments, and even those recovering from surgery.

With HD video and high fidelity audio, doctors can easily see and communicate with their patients in real-time, as long as both parties have reliable access to the internet. Doctors are able to see and hear patients with the same accuracy as an in-person visit, allowing for diagnoses to be precise.

Reducing the distance between doctors and patients
By minimizing the distance between doctors and their patients, TeleHealth indirectly enhances the doctor-patient relationship by a huge margin.

About 74% of patients are comfortable with communicating with their doctors using technology instead of seeing them in person.  When they have access to doctors via TeleHealth, patients don’t have to worry about commuting to and from their doctor’s office. Patients will be more willing to contact their doctor if it means they don’t have to take time off work or drive to and from the doctor’s office. They will also be more likely to keep their appointment.

Since they can quickly log onto their smartphone or computer to access the information they need. Doctors also don’t have to worry as much about patients missing appointments, showing up late, or canceling at the last minute.

Increasing the frequency of communication enhances the relationship
With Telehealth, it's possible for doctors and patients to communicate more frequently when needed. 

They can send reminders and updates to their patients in real-time, so they remember to take their medication, schedule an appointment, or log on for a quick consultation. This helps both parties stay in sync throughout the consultation and treatment process.

For e.g. Doctors can get feedback on the response of a patient to a course of medication and the patients can ask for advice more easily. The fact that this can be billed, allows doctors to not feel shortchanged as they once would have felt. 

With TeleHealth Software, it's easier for doctors to ask patients to fill up one or more self-assessment or screening questionnaires prior to a virtual consult, and as frequently as they need it to be part of the care process. The software may not allow entry to the virtual consult for the patient unless it finds the screening forms filled up. This helps protects the doctor's time as well as helps patients self-screen regularly.

Remote Patient Monitoring can lead to peace of mind for both the Doctor and the Patient
With remote patient monitoring, doctors can track the health of critically ill patients, including those recovering from surgery, those with chronic conditions, and elderly patients. These patients will have more peace of mind knowing that their doctor is regularly watching over their health.

TeleHealth helps make patients more responsible 

Telehealth helps patients take ownership of the healthcare they receive. Virtual consultations give patients the freedom to schedule appointments and consultations on their own schedule. They can also now connect with doctors outside their locality or even city easily, Now that they have more freedom in terms of choosing a doctor, they get more involved in their care process which leads to less stress for the doctors.

About 53% of patients said that telemedicine somewhat or significantly increases their involvement in treatment decisions.

Telehealth is changing the way both doctors and patients approach their relationship with each other. Virtual care can increase access to healthcare services, improve communication, and reduce the rate of missed or canceled appointments.  

Contact TrueTeleHealth to learn how TrueTelehealth's solution can bring Doctors and Patients Closer Together

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Published 10:34 PM by with 0 comment

The TrueTeleHealth Expert Picks for the week ending June 21st

In this segment, we bring you articles, news, and updates carefully chosen by our in-house medical experts.

Across the nation, in Arkansas, The Northwest Arkansas Regional Crisis Stabilization Unit is now offering free support group for our frontline healthcare workers dealing with COVID-19, through telehealth https://www.nwahomepage.com/news/new-telehealth-support-group-for-healthcare-workers/

The threat from COVID-19 has forced physicians, like many other businesses, to find new ways to operate. Check out this On-demand Webinar by Dermatology Times  on "Telehealth: A tool for the moment or the new normal?" which caters to 

  • Current guidance on the use of teledermatology.
  • Methods for delivering teledermatology and how to set up an ideal workflow.
  • How reimbursements are working.
  • How to comply with teledermatology regulations.
Digital and communication technologies have revolutionized the delivery of healthcare services. 
Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said that expanded access to telemedicine should continue after the coronavirus pandemic recedes and that officials are examining ways to act without waiting for legislation from Congress.

Telehealth is set to change the future of healthcare and remove many of the obstacles and challenges that the industry and patients currently face. This excellent infographic about TeleHealth created by Maryville University is the perfect way to end this week's Expert picks.

Please leave us comments via the comment box below about what telehealth questions you have and we will be glad to answer.

You can also contact TrueTeleHealth via our website https://www.truetelehealth.com/

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Monday, June 15, 2020

Published 8:26 PM by with 0 comment

7 Specialties where the care process is enhanced using TeleHealth

Tens of thousands of physicians are providing TeleHealth -services to their patients during the COVID imposed lockdown. Many health providers using TeleHealth have begun to see merit in offering virtual care and remote consultations even after the effects of the pandemic are over.

Telehealth is here to stay. Healthcare is shifting to adopt the virtual care model along with the traditional ones. Obvious benefits to practices, physicians, and patients include ease of use, convenience, lower cost of delivery. Besides these, there are benefits in the care life cycle that are specific to different specialties which enhance efficiency not just in terms of quantity but in the quality of care. Let's look at some of these

Modern HD video has made it possible to diagnose and treat a variety of skin conditions from a distance. Video consults can be used for routine skin assessments like mole checks and more urgent triage needs. 

Endocrinologists use remote consults to manage patients with chronic conditions like diabetes. A video visit is a great way to handle adjustments to various hormone and hypertension treatments.

People who suffer from cardiovascular disease or congenital heart defects generally need ongoing care and precise treatment plans. Regular video consults allow regular guidance from the cardiologist and help patients adhere to follow-up instructions.

Video consults are perfect for medication management, dietary counseling, and reviewing diagnostic test results.

Telemedicine is the ideal tool for helping patients to slow the progression of kidney disease and minimize the need for dialysis or kidney transplants. Nephrologists also use telehealth to provide at-home care plans for patients recovering from kidney-related surgery.

Psychiatry and Mental health
Telepsychiatry, the delivery of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment, has been growing as a care medium over the years. The online approach is perfect for the delivery of a number of mental health and psychiatry services because it reduces barriers to care including distance, privacy concerns, and cost besides letting patients get access to their doctor from within the surrounding which they may find most comfortable.

People who experience asthma, bronchitis, COPD, and patients requiring mechanical ventilation are great candidates for telehealth. Video consults make it easier for them to stay engaged in the management of their condition.

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Sunday, June 14, 2020

Published 6:32 PM by with 1 comment

Common Questions About Virtual Care and Remote Consultations

As virtual consultations started going mainstream, though they were being adopted more out of necessity due to the covid pandemic, many health providers using TeleHealth have begun to see merit in offering virtual care and remote consultations even after the effects of the pandemic are over.

We receive questions such as
“How can we make this work as a mainstream option”?
“Is it safe to carry out a remote consult using Skype?”

We've put together a set of common questions and answers here which one should keep in mind when exploring to make TeleHealth a part of their regular clinical services.

Is it legal?
Perhaps one of the biggest concerns with remote communications and virtual care is the fear that it may not be legal for a clinic to provide healthcare solutions this way. However, much like medical camps in remote areas, using services like telehealth, online consultations, and remote health monitoring should be seen as a way of increasing the reach of healthcare.

Virtual online consultations and remote care, as well as telemedicine, are legal and recognized as effective methods to engage with existing patients and to support patients who may otherwise not have access to quality healthcare services.

Is it safe to consult remotely?

With a surge in video calling apps, it is fair to say that patients and health providers are now more connected than they ever were. However, the concern with instant messaging and video calling apps, as well as using social media and email for consultations is the lack of safety and privacy.

Information disclosed on these channels are not protected the way medical data and communication is supposed to be. The need to maintain doctor-patient confidentiality may be lost.

Another concern with such platforms is that they do not maintain a record of the communication between health providers and patients. These platforms are not exclusive to health, and unless one is making a note of the interaction via an another app, or in the EMR opened in a separate Tab, or recording the entire consult to make notes later, it is nearly impossible to maintain a record of previous interactions. One cannot save health data inherently as part of the app experience
, or even reference an earlier discussion. Therefore, when choosing to communicate remotely, health providers need to rely on a more reliable platform to engage with their patients for effective healthcare delivery.

Is it right to diagnose patients without seeing them?

Remote consultations are meant to be a way of offering continuous care and health monitoring between clinic visits. With access to their health records and previous medical history, it is possible for health providers to provide support and health solutions to their patients remotely.

Remote care and virtual consultations are not meant to replace face-to-face consultations or clinic visits. On the contrary, it is meant to help clinics and medical practices manage their time better so as to meet more patients each day. This means being able to follow-up remotely with existing patients, thereby freeing up time to meet new patients at the clinic.

Can I get reimbursed for this type of engagement?

Yes, absolutely. This is perhaps one of the key differentiators of remote monitoring and online consultation tools. Platforms like the RxOnDemand and TrueTeleHealth allow clinics to set suitable appointment slots and consultation charges for virtual consultations and health monitoring services.  

Nearly 60 percent of large U.S. employers provide coverage for telehealth, and access is growing exponentially. Over the last several years the Department of Veterans Affairs, TRICARE, Medicaid, and commercial health insurance providers have increasingly made telehealth services available.

Will it be a challenge for health providers and clinic staff to adopt new technology?

Any new technology requires training to understand the nuances of the solution. Training clinic staff and health providers are essential to ensure proper utilization of the tool. It is essential to spend some time to learn how to best make use of all the features and capabilities of your clinic’s tool so as to derive the maximum benefit from it, both for health providers and patients alike.

How will patients adapt to this new behavior?

Studies and Surveys revealed that a large % of patients would follow-up with a doctor online if they had the option.  Being able to remotely communicate and have their health monitored by their doctors is a welcome change for patients. That said, getting patients to use the tool will require a certain amount of effort. Proactive involvement by patients, supported by encouragement and prompt responses from the clinic will see the quick adoption of whichever TeleHealth solution your clinic adopts.

Is it expensive to set up specialized TeleHealth services for clinics?

With the explosion of TeleHealth solutions, there is a good choice of TeleHealth products for clinics 
to choose from in today’s day and age. Contact the TrueTeleHealth experts to know more.

Remote care and virtual consultations were born out of a requirement in healthcare delivery. It represents a need for better doctor-patient engagement, clearer communication, and continuous care.

Besides saving patients' travel times and costs, remote care, and virtual consultations help clinics manage time effectively, allowing for more in-clinic consultations and increased revenues. Overall patient satisfaction and an increase in patient referrals are also a likely possibility. 
Contact us to know more.
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Saturday, June 13, 2020

Published 6:55 AM by with 0 comment

How Remote Patient Monitoring is Transforming Healthcare Delivery

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a technology to enable the monitoring of patients outside of conventional clinical settings, such as in the home or in a remote area. It uses different digital technologies to collect medical and other forms of health data from individuals in one location and electronically transmit that information securely to health care providers in a different location for assessment and recommendations.

This type of service allows a provider to continue to track healthcare data for a patient once released to home or a care facility, reducing readmission rates.

Monitoring programs can collect a wide range of health data from the point of care, such as vital signs, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and electrocardiograms.

We list some ways by which Remote patient monitoring may increase access to care and decrease healthcare delivery costs

Timeliness, which can lead to earlier intervention, For more serious, time-critical medical events, the extra minutes offered by continuous monitoring can valuable

Convenience, which may lead to improved efficiency. Due to near-instant communication capabilities offered by remote care, practices can shift to a more automated system of scheduling, bypassing in-person appointments without reducing doctor-patient facetime

Accuracy, which can boost both efficiency and early intervention, is an important byproduct of healthcare IoT(Internet of Things), the digital technology used for Remote Patient Monitoring. Connecting all devices and alerts into the same sophisticated GPS network provides not just the prospect of early intervention for flagged patient conditions, but also the ability for relief teams to respond faster and with more clarity in emergency situations.

Security realized by sophisticated network protection: Patient monitoring allows for improved digital security via access to a highly secure network for accessing patient health information.

Mobility, which can help improve patient satisfaction. Patients are increasingly demanding access to care via their everyday consumer devices like Activity and Health trackers and other mHealth technology. Granting them this option, then exceeding their expectations with engaging, easy-to-use content and interactivity, means helping ensure greater rates of satisfaction.

Interested in Virtual Care. Read other Virtual Care posts by TrueTeleHealth at http://blog.truetelehealth.com/search/label/virtual%20care

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Published 2:59 AM by with 0 comment

The TrueTeleHealth Expert Picks for the week ending June 14th

In this segment, we bring you articles, news, and updates carefully chosen by our in-house medical experts.

More than three-dozen HEDIS measures have been adjusted to reflect new telemedicine services in response to COVID-19 and better align with the realities of virtual care delivery. Read about this at Healthcare IT News -  “As telehealth becomes the new normal, NCQA updates quality measures” - https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/telehealth-becomes-new-normal-ncqa-updates-quality-measures

From The Robert J. Waters Center for Telehealth and e-Health Law (CTeL)’s TeleHelath Buzz we have this piece on how the New Defense Health Bill Seeks to Add Telehealth Services and Providers

While National Geographic’s piece on Why rural hospitals may not survive COVID-19 may list out a number of shortcomings about Telemedicine, it’s a great introduction to Telehealth.

Vinod, TrueTeleHealth’s COO identified another set of great articles that deal with TeleHealth use during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

How Telemedicine Has Improved My Relationship With My Doctors          

Addiction treatment services see benefits from telehealth, consider implementing remote services more extensively

TeleHealth is the new Normal...

Virtual visits: Spurred on by the pandemic, telemedicine has gone mainstream

The Value Of Telehealth

Maintaining privacy rights and access with telehealth

Please leave us comments via the comment box below about what telehealth questions you have and we will be glad to answer.

You can also contact TrueTeleHealth via our website https://www.truetelehealth.com/
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Monday, June 8, 2020

Published 4:06 AM by with 0 comment

Are Virtual Visits a Good Thing?

The methods available for health care practitioners to reach their patients have grown over the past 20 years. The most common method and one which has become almost mainstream in today's day and time is Telemedicine.
Originally, Telemedicine was developed for patients in rural areas who may not have access to a doctor when they need it. Through the years, the scope of who telemedicine reaches has expanded as more people are looking for convenient, quick healthcare.
So why does remote healthcare work?.
Lower Fees Than physical visits
It’s easier for psychologists, physicians, and other practitioners to serve a larger amount of patients through an online medium. Since they’re able to cater to a larger number of patients, they can and do charge less for each consultation. This makes healthcare affordable.
Saves physical space
No additional space is required for one to offer tele-consults. One can practice it from the comfort of one's home, or existing office space. 
Reduce workload on the clinics
Practitioners are also doing a public service when they participate in telemedicine. By diagnosing illnesses, and other situations, via a telehealth session they’re reducing the number of individuals who end up in the E.R. for non-emergency situations. A physician, or another practitioner, is able to reassure patients that their chest burn isn’t a heart attack. This leaves more empty beds for patients who are actually undergoing a medical emergency.
Telemedicine: It’s Good for Both the Doctor and Patient
Most of the advances offered by telemedicine are good for both physician and patient alike. More patients are able to receive healthcare, and more doctors are busy giving it. 

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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Published 8:52 PM by with 0 comment

The TrueTeleHealth Expert Picks for the week ending June 7th

In this segment, we bring you articles, news, and updates carefully chosen by TrueTeleHealth's in-house medical experts.

This week we have a great resource curated by Dr. Najjar from ACP Online related to “Telehealth Coding and Billing During COVID-19”  - https://www.acponline.org/practice-resources/covid-19-practice-management-resources/telehealth-coding-and-billing-during-covid-19

This resource provides access to an Online CME program on "Telemedicine: A Practical Guide for Incorporation into your Practice"

Also includes a Checklist for Incorporation of Video Visits (Telemedicine) and a document on Optimizing Telehealth During Recovery from Coronavirus

Vinod, TrueTeleHealth’s COO identified a couple of great articles that deal with TeleHealth use during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

Telehealth could help some rural New Mexicans even after the COVID-19 pandemic

Telehealth visits boom as patients navigate Colorado's coronavirus restrictions

Rebuilding America: Telehealth, embraced by patients and providers during the pandemic, will likely continue

Survey: As expected, patients fearful of in-person visits are turning to telehealth

Rhode Island Lawmakers Look to Make Telehealth Coverage Permanent

The COVID-19 crisis created an urgency for telehealth. Now, many are hoping it sticks around post-pandemic

Also, we have some news about policy and a great factsheet from AHA which answers questions on their stance on TeleHealth

Lawmakers Push to Extend Telehealth Freedoms Past the COVID-19 Emergency  - https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/lawmakers-push-to-extend-telehealth-freedoms-past-the-covid-19-emergency

TeleHealth Questions Answered

Please leave us comments via the comment box below about what telehealth questions you have and we will be glad to answer.

You can also contact TrueTeleHealth via our website https://www.truetelehealth.com/

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Published 4:36 AM by with 0 comment

Using TeleHealth to reduce the spread of Covid-19

Traditionally, remote consultations via Skype or other video conferencing services have been used for low-risk medical needs.  For e.g managing common symptoms like seasonal allergies, minor skin issues, cold, upset stomach, etc.

Given the potential need to screen symptomatic patients for COVID-19, providers will want to work with public health authorities to establish screening protocols to determine the need for COVID-19 testing.

For the duration of the pandemic, providers will also want to look at the common care needs of patients in their local population and prioritize remote visits for low-risk conditions which should be addressed in the short term and do not require an in-facility visit.

Many practices already have the technology solutions in place to conduct remote visits, for they have recognized the benefits of TeleHealth to help reduce the cost of care as well as improve patient access and experience.

For those that do not, a few key points should be considered in deploying a remote visit strategy.

Firstly, it is important to consider how EHR and practice management systems will integrate with the TeleHealth tool, or be used concurrently with the remote consult to facilitate clinical documentation.

While authorities, both state and federal temporarily have reduced regulations requiring adherence to HIPAA, as regards web-based commercial tools such as FaceTime or Skype; in the longer term, these tools do not have the privacy safeguards to be HIPAA compliant and are not integrated with health record and billing systems.

Integrated, HIPAA compliant tools will lessen the challenges practices may face regarding workflow and will align with the movement to value-based care while maintaining patient privacy protections.

Truetelehealth offers a highly capable video visit tool, further details may be found here https://www.truetelehealth.com/.
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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Published 6:21 AM by with 0 comment

COVID has brought about a Demand for Telehealth

The COVID pandemic has changed the way the world works, and healthcare has had to make adjustments per these changes. One of these adjustments is TeleHealth for remote consultations, or as some like to call them "virtual care".

TeleHealth has started becoming a mainstream option for healthcare. Providing TeleHealth is no longer just about convenience and choice, it is a necessity to protect the safety of both patients and providers of all ages.

Remote consultations visits allow patients to stay home to receive the care they need, avoiding the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus.

This is especially true for those considered high risk by the CDC, including people aged 65 years and older, people with chronic high-risk conditions or underlying medical conditions, those who smoke, among others.

TeleHealth gives providers the flexibility to deliver care from their homes, providing them the same degree of protection from COVID. Providers are more willing to use technology solutions that are not yet integrated with their practice management workflow and EHR during the crisis than they were before.

Trading ideal workflows for rapidly deployed 
TeleHealth platforms, providers are quickly adapting to meet the needs of their patients in this crisis. We at TrueTeleHealth believe that in the long term, physicians will be more likely to continue with remote consults, aligning them with the way they practice medicine in person, including scheduling and reminders, charting and insurance, as well as payment processing.

At the policy level, Medicare, Medicaid, commercial payers, and states have all taken action to remove policy barriers to TeleHealth utilization to address this pandemic.

There have been changes in policy, including recommending 
TeleHealth when possible to help prevent the spread of a virus, allowing the originating site to be the patient's home and waiving cost-sharing for TeleHealth visits, including visits for mental care. These obviously will continue to evolve and are not necessarily permanent.

Now more than ever, patients are preferring to see their own doctors remotely. And there is a bigger choice on offer to the patients now, as it's now online. And so patients are increasingly choosing medical providers who offer Telehealth capabilities over those who don’t.

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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Published 2:40 PM by with 0 comment

Tips for a Better Telehealth Visit for Physicians

TeleHealth has finally arrived. Teleconsults are on the rise across America, and both patients and physicians are more than happy to look at the virtual option of providing care.

Here is a list of tips to help your physicians ensure that virtual patient visits are as effective as in-person ones.

1. Use a High Quality Webcam - What good is video if it’s not high-quality enough for you to clearly see your patient and any visual symptoms? When patients can clearly see your face, they’ll be more comfortable and respond more positively to the visit.

2. Test out all your equipment before you start - Before you do your first telemedicine visit, check to make sure your volume’s on, the audio is clear, and your camera and microphone are working. You might even want to do a quick check each morning to make sure everything is working properly.

3. Use Good Sound Equipment - Test out the microphone and speakers on your computer and mobile device. If you’re having any trouble getting good audio, get a high-quality microphone and some speakers. Also, remember that if you’re planning to have multiple staff in the room during a telemedicine visit, everyone will need to be heard.

4. Set-Up the Camera at Eye-Level - Whether you're using an integrated or external camera, set it up so that the camera is approximately at eye-level. It is easier to maintain eye contact with the patient and stay engaged during the visit that way.

5. Close Unnecessary Programs - Smooth video streaming requires a lot of bandwidth. So make sure you don’t have too many other programs or tabs open. if possible close out of everything and just have your telemedicine platform open while consulting.

6. Plug in Your Computer or Mobile Device if you can - It's a good idea to always have the devices powered up so that their power doesnt die out in the middle of the visit.

7. Find a quiet space - Wherever you are (office, an exam room, or a home study) make sure the space is quiet and distraction-free. Eliminating distractions and ensuring patient privacy is crucial to a high-quality telemedicine visit.

8. Read the patient complaint beforehand, if possible - Just like any other visit, try to take a minute before starting the visit to read the patient complaint and familiarize yourself with the patient record. That way, you'll be better prepared for the visit and that will make the virtial consult more efficient.

9. Adjust the lighting - Lighting has a big effect on the quality of video. Try turning on the overhead lights and blocking light from windows.

10. Have the support team's number easily accessible - Technical problems do come up sometimes. Write down the support team's number and place it somewhere easily accessible in your workspace. Make sure you share it with your staff as well, so they can coordinate calling for help when you’re busy.

11. Follow the same clinical guidelines you would with an in-person visit - Even if you can't do a physical exam, you can ask good questions and take a thorough history of present illness. While the technology and interaction is different, the key clinical guidelines apply to a virtual visit the same way as a physical appointment.

12. Stay Engaged - Again, treat the virtual visit like you would an in-person visit. Try to maintain eye contact and nod along to show you’re listening. If you need to take notes or look at something, mention that you’re doing so to the patient – they may not be able to see exactly what you’re doing, and taking notes could just seem like you’re distracted or not engaged in the visit.

13. Explain Next Steps - Once the visit's over, thank the patient for doing a virtual visit and explain what they need to do next.

14. Ask for Feedback - This is also a great opportunity to ask the patient what they thought of the virtual visit process, if this was their first one. With that feedback in hand, you'll continue to make your virtual visits more successful!

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Published 1:49 AM by with 0 comment

What the Coronavirus is Teaching Us About TeleHealth

TeleHealth usage has been on the rise for several years. However, it hasn’t caught on as a mainstream healthcare option, for a variety of reasons, especially as it cannot replace the comfort level patients have with physically seeing their physicians, at least today.

After all, that’s how medicine has been delivered for centuries. There have also been regulatory obstacles and technology requirements, though government agencies and healthcare technology providers are helping address both.

But, with the world dealing with a viral coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 4 million people – over a million and a half and counting in the United States alone – and governments worldwide issuing social distancing mandates and ordering schools and non-essential business to close or initiate teleworking strategies, healthcare provision seems set for a rapid increase in the use of TeleHealth Services.

While many doctors are increasing their use of TeleHealth capabilities, some are just starting their TeleHealth practices, and still, others are finding new ways to implement it to enable healthcare delivery during this crisis.

Regardless, the COVID-19 outbreak is teaching both doctors and their patients about how TeleHealth can help in crises.

Screening for Covid-19

At the onset of the outbreak, the CDC recommended that patients exhibiting coronavirus symptoms not immediately go to their physicians. Instead, it suggested calling first or setting up a virtual visit, so physicians could identify potential COVID-19 cases and provide specific instructions, including whether to seek treatment or to manage mild cases through home treatment and isolation.

First Responders

TeleHealth can help emergency responders conduct on-site video chats with physicians, to evaluate patients’ conditions, and determine the best courses of action. This can help reduce the strain on hospitals. Also, it can put ambulances and EMS personnel to be back in service faster, enabling them to help more patients.

Consultations and Physical Examinations

While not all in-person exams can be replaced with virtual technology, common consumer devices can provide valuable information to help physicians obtain common vitals from patients. Fitness trackers can provide data around heart rate, breathing rate, body temperature, and more, to enable Telemonitoring of patients without requiring hospital admission or physician visits.

Mental Health ­Counselling
Mental health patients often require regular treatment to manage their conditions, and the stress of dealing with a disease outbreak and home isolation could cause elevated stress levels or other mental health conditions for anyone. Even though therapists may have canceled in-person appointments, virtual visits – either via phone or video call – can enable them to continue treating patients while following safety protocols.

Efficiency of Physicians
Because fewer healthcare professionals are needed to manage virtual visits, physicians may be able to see more patients, and staff can spend more time on other necessary tasks, including ensuring the cleanliness of on-site facilities for those patients who do need in-person visits.

TeleHealth cannot replace all in-person physician engagements, but there are ways TeleHealth and Remote Patient Management can help improve healthcare delivery efficiency.

Even as this current crisis will subside, and it will, new social practices will continue for some time, and many will become a way of life. This makes TeleHealth an increasingly valuable proposition for practices.

After all, the lessons learned during this crisis can help the healthcare system better manage other diseases in the future.
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