The majority of hospitals in the U.S. now employ some method of telehealth to offer enhanced access to healthcare and expand their networks with other healthcare facilities. The increased usage of telehealth assists in minimizing distance barriers between healthcare providers and patients. It also offers access to medical services which are usually not available consistently to distant rural populations. For urban medicine practitioners, telehealth offers the opportunity to make remote visits outside of office hours or track high-risk patients on weekends. Telehealth has also proved effective in critical care and emergency situations. With the application of new health technology and capabilities, a patient can receive improved quality of healthcare much faster and derive better outcomes.
Telehealth has consistently proven to be beneficial for patients residing in isolated locations. Contrary to traditional healthcare, it typically involves an on-site attending physician and a remote teledoctor providing services like consultation or telesurgery for the benefit of the patient. Advancements in mobile collaboration technology can now assist professionals to share information and discuss patient issues regardless of their physical locations. The application of mobile technology in remote patient monitoring can minimize the need for outpatient visits and enable remote prescription verification and drug administration oversight, thus considerably reducing the overall expense associated with medical care. Telehealth facilitates medical education by allowing workers the opportunity to observe experts in their fields and share relevant practices more conveniently and also reduces the risk associated with possible transmission of infectious diseases from patients to medical staff.
The increase in telehealth initiatives is also poised to deliver considerable financial benefits for players in the healthcare industry including healthcare providers and insurance companies. It is predicted that virtual healthcare can also reduce all doctor visits by 93% and save around $103 per visit. An estimated 50% of all doctor visits and 70% of all electronic media record (EMR) visits can be conducted virtually. Remote medical teams can decrease hospital expenses and help fill gaps in staffing. Telehealth technologies allow doctors to log in and out of appointments faster than traditional healthcare processes and offers greater efficiency. The flexibility associated with telehealth technologies also offer healthcare professionals an opportunity to work despite health issues and elder or childcare responsibilities.