You’ve discussed it in strategy meetings, you’ve overheard your competitors talking about it at conferences, and maybe patients have even asked about it: telemedicine. Why do you need it in your organization? For one, a Cisco global survey found that 74% of patients are interested in access to virtual healthcare services. There is a simple reason why: telemedicine simultaneously improves patient experience and makes healthcare providers more efficient.
Why healthcare organizations need telemedicine
A study conducted from 2007 to 2012, through Geisinger Health Plan’s heart failure telemonitoring program saved 11% in costs and more than tripled return on investment (ROI) for investors. How? Their efforts reduced the likelihood that a heart patient would be admitted to the hospital by 23%. More spectacularly, 90-day readmissions we were reduced by a whopping 38%. Another study found that with remote behavioral health interventions, telemedicine patients score lower for depression, anxiety, and stress — and are also 38% less likely to be admitted to the hospital.
REACH Health’s 2018 survey indicates that the top reason survey respondents implemented, or plan to implement telemedicine in their organization, is to improve patient outcomes. When reimbursement rates are dependent on satisfaction and compliance within patient-centered medical homes, ease of access becomes a key component for healthcare organizations.
As evidenced by these surveys and studies, using telemedicine within your healthcare organization can improve management of chronic diseases, and reduce the high costs of healthcare. Furthermore, offering remote care services helps organizations to turn on-call hours into billable time, attract new patients, and enable flexible schedules for more medical professionals.
Why patients need telemedicine
Telemedicine offers patients easy-access, on-demand care to people who need medical attention. This is especially important for patients in rural locations, those who are housebound, and those who struggle to find time for their health.
A 2012 study showed that for each rural physician, there are 2,500 patients in need of care. While the example of rural patients is often used to cite the importance of remote care, it is important to note that the same study found that to every one physician in an urban area, there are still almost 1,900 patients who need care. Imagine how many of those patients would engage more meaningfully in their health with easy access to a healthcare provider.
How does access to telemedicine enable patients to take responsibility for their own health, you ask? With automated reminders by email, phone, or text, patients are more likely to keep appointments and stick with care schedules. This ease of access through remote care platforms provides a platform for trusted advice and needed encouragement, outside of the clinical environment. The interactive capabilities of both two-way video communication, and store-and-forward communication gives us all an opportunity to be more involved in our own care. What a world!
Providing patient-centered care
Healthcare presents an eternal challenge: how to profitably run a healthcare organization, without compromising on patient care? Telemedicine offers a patient-centered approach that enables healthcare organizations and providers to provide timely, quality care for less cost.Telemedicine has the power to make life better for the provider, the patient, their families, and their communities. If you are thinking about telemedicine, and how it will fit into your service line strategy, take a look at eVisit, and .