Telehealth delivers healthcare services remotely, typically via videoconferencing, phone calls, or mobile apps. Telehealth has several advantages and disadvantages, which are discussed below.
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Convenience: Telehealth eliminates the need for patients to visit a healthcare provider in person, saving them time and effort.
Increased access to care: Telehealth can be especially beneficial for people who live in remote or underserved areas because it allows them to receive care from a healthcare provider regardless of where they are.
Cost-effectiveness: By reducing the need for travel and the amount of time patients spend in the office, telehealth can save money for both patients and healthcare providers.
Improved health outcomes: Research has shown that telehealth can improve patients’ health outcomes, especially those with chronic conditions.
Technical limitations: Telehealth relies on technology, which can be unreliable or unavailable in some areas.
Quality of care: Because telehealth lacks the personal interaction and physical examination typical of an in-person visit, some patients may not receive the same level of care as they would in person.
Telehealth necessitates using technology, which may not be available or affordable to all patients.
Privacy concerns: Telehealth raises privacy concerns because personal health information may be shared electronically, potentially exposing it to unauthorized individuals.
The following steps should be taken when conducting a telehealth assessment:
Obtain patient consent: To participate in a telehealth visit, the patient must provide informed consent.
Create the technology: Ascertain that the technology used is secure and follows regulations such as HIPAA.
Conduct the evaluation: A thorough assessment, including a review of the patient’s medical history, symptoms, and current health status, should be performed by the provider. The provider should also remotely perform any necessary physical examinations, such as vital sign checks.
Create a treatment strategy: The provider should develop a treatment plan based on the assessment and discuss it with the patient.
Telehealth has the following limitations:
Legal and regulatory constraints: Telehealth is governed by various laws and regulations, such as HIPAA, which govern how personal health information can be shared electronically.
Reimbursement: Telehealth reimbursement can be limited, especially for uninsured or underinsured patients.
Quality of care: Telehealth can result in lower quality of care than in-person visits.
The needs of the provider and the patient for a successful telehealth visit can differ in several ways. Providers may prioritize the assessment’s accuracy and completeness, whereas patients may prioritize their comfort level and privacy during the visit. Patients may also prioritize telehealth convenience, while providers may prioritize technology availability and access to the patient’s medical information.
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Telemedicine and telehealth (2021). HealthIT.gov. https://www.healthit.gov/topic/telehealth-and-telemedicine
A. Prabhakar and B. Adhikari (2020). A review of current literature on telehealth in the context of COVID-19. Medical Systems Journal,
For this, answer the following:
What are the Pros and Cons to telehealth?
How will you approach and perform a telehealth assessment?
What are the limits to telehealth?
What is the difference between the provider’s need for a successful telehealth visit versus the Patient’s perspective?
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