Saturday, June 27, 2020

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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.

Summary
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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