What Telemedicine Means for Paediatric Healthcare

Telemedicine is the new normal in the context of the CoVid-19 pandemic. More and more people prefer staying within the confines of their homes in an effort to safeguard their health – including new parents or parents of younger children. Since new-borns and young children tend to be susceptible to disease, it makes sense to turn to telemedicine for pediatric patients.

Telemedicine is the new normal in the context of the CoVid-19 pandemic. More and more people prefer staying within the confines of their homes in an effort to safeguard their health – including new parents or parents of younger children. Since new-borns and young children tend to be susceptible to disease, it makes sense to turn to telemedicine for pediatric patients.

Telemedicine works in conjunction with your pediatrician to ensure that your child gets the healthcare they need in continuity. While telehealth does not replace visits to your pediatrician entirely, they supplement them, enhancing the physical and mental health of your child.

Can Telehealth Technologies Improve Paediatric Care?

There is a range of benefits that come with a virtual pediatric care solution. These include:

  1. Care calls within the comfort of the patient’s homes
  2. Faster healthcare
  3. Lesser health risks
  4. Addresses geographical health care inequalities
  5. Saving time
  6. Higher quality of care

The various benefits of telemedicine for pediatric patients have been discussed in further detail below.

1.    Care Calls

Telemedicine allows your clinic to offer quick diagnoses and treatment via smartphones, laptops, and computers. By using the video call and chat features, through any platform of your choice, from Zoom to Microsoft teams, pediatricians can address any concerns parents may have through virtual visits.

In addition, doctors can adhere to far more flexible schedules, creating timetables suited to their availability. They can also effectively monetize after-hours care calls. In addition, with telehealth, pediatric healthcare providers can also streamline non-emergency appointments through new communication channels and quick clinical scheduling.

2.    Faster Care

The modern family is always on the go. In the midst of busy lives, scheduling doctor’s appointments mean taking prior stock of schedules and factoring in the time spent planning and traveling to the practice.

Often, appointments are missed because of unforeseen circumstances. Telehealth addresses all of these problems, as clinics can provide swift virtual pediatric care according to the availability of parents without them having to adjust their day around an in-person visit.

This healthcare option quickens the recovery process for many patients and creates a sense of mental peace for parents as well.

3.    Lower health risk

With the onset of the pandemic, in-house clinic visits for general checkups have become not only risky but also challenging to plan. Often, only one guardian is allowed, and there are limited time slots for visits. Parents also feel hesitant to subject their children to potential exposure via an in-person visit.

Thus, by offering telehealth services, you can address these concerns and cut back on health risks. Parents of patients that want primary and essential care services and checkups can be at ease mentally while having their concerns addressed by a professional.

4.    Healthcare Inequalities

There are many underserved regions in the U.S, given the disparity in the distribution of pediatric physicians, according to the American Academy of Paediatrics. Telehealth helps in addressing the workforce shortage. Places that are underserved include communities mainly based in rural regions but also include some suburban settings. This disparity causes differential access, leading to severe inequalities in health care.

Such inequality leads to differences in health outcomes not only between rural and urban populations but also children with special health care needs. Since the internet transcends geographical boundaries, virtual visits can help address this disparity and improve healthcare all around.

5.    Saving Time

In-house clinic visits can be overwhelming. Moreover, setting them up for minor concerns can be inconvenient for you and your provider. Telemedicine virtual visits are usually short and sweet, ranging from ten to fifteen minutes. They also require no travel time or additional waiting at the clinic.

This allows the provider to schedule more appointments during the day, treating more patients in the same amount of time. Furthermore, the patient saves a significant amount of time, creating more time during the day.

6.    Improving Paediatric Care with Telehealth: Higher Quality Care

Contrary to popular belief, the quality of care is not detrimentally impacted by going digital. Since healthcare becomes much more accessible for patients and their parents, it actually goes up. Telemedicine reduces the likelihood of missed appointments, enhances adherence to set treatment plans and therapies, and maintains the appropriate frequency of visits to the doctor. Continuity in care will go up, creating better results overall.

In addition, the technologies will enhance the frequency and quality of communication between pediatricians and patients. This could improve disease management on a large scale. Moreover, virtual visits may also create a safer space for younger patients and their parents. Since they are held within the comfort of home, patients and parents may feel much more at ease as compared to a clinic environment.

 

 References

https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/can-telehealth-technologies-improve-pediatric-care 

 

Communication Tips for a Good Telemedicine Patient Experience

telehealth communication tips for providers

As the world of healthcare merges with the world of technology, it has become imperative to adapt and taper the experience. Patients are being drawn to telemedicine in the wake of the pandemic and a range of healthcare inequalities. The new merger requires providers to develop their communication skills by adopting strategies that will ensure that the patient has a positive, complete experience. Leaving the customer feeling that something was lacking is not good for business or the patient themselves. The advent of telehealth introduces new challenges in the doctor-patient relationship. To address this issue, there is a range of telemedicine communication tips discussed in detail below.

Telehealth Tips for Providers

Apart from the quality of service, there are four primary ways in which doctors can ensure a good telemedicine patient experience:

  1.       Keeping up appearances
  2.       Preparing for virtual visits
  3.       Establishing rapport and communicating compassion
  4.       Simple language, focus, and teach-back

Telemedicine Communication Tips

Telehealth Tips for Providers: Keeping up appearances: Every patient wants to feel that their doctor is a competent individual. If uncertainty bleeds into the experience, it may cause dissatisfaction. Looking at the part is crucial for creating that confidence in the patient. All doctors must wear a white coat. The men should have a necktie on and have it tied neatly around their neck. The look of a well-put-together doctor may help put the patient at ease if they are nervous. Dressing the part instills confidence in the patient, especially if they are using it for the first time. Moreover, another aspect of appearances is body language. Doctors are taught physical cues which must be used for virtual visits. Clinicians must look into the camera, avoid taking notes and looking down, and ensure that their work setting is not free of noise pollution and other distractions which may disturb the patient.

 

Telehealth Tips for Providers: Preparation: Preparing for a visit is beneficial not only for the doctor but also for the patient. The telehealth environment must be well-equipped to conduct a well-rounded visit. Firstly, there must be an effective and quick broadband internet set up to ensure that there are no disruptions in the encounter from your end. Recent advents in technology have allowed telehealth providers to conduct limited physical exams through the use of peripheral technology. Doctors can now listen to heart, lung, and abdominal sounds and look at the back of someone’s throat. These new possibilities push the boundaries of telehealth visits. Therefore, having access to all remote care tools and having the adequate training to utilize them effectively is essential for a good, seamless telehealth encounter. However, it must be noted that providing effective care goes beyond mere preparation of tools. Doctors must understand the patient’s history by reviewing their file. They must understand their equipment. Doctors must be quick to act when they need to troubleshoot, ensure their cameras are working and their voice is clear through the mic. In addition, the speakers must also have a good placement. Furthermore, the room they are in must be private and secure in addition to having good and bright lighting. It must also be silent and free of other kinds of distractions. Visible doors in the background are often a source of discomfiture for patients who may be concerned about someone overhearing sensitive personal health information or having their visit derailed by a third party. Doctors that deliver telehealth from their homes must be especially cognizant of these things.

Telehealth Tips for Providers: Rapport and compassion: Virtual meetings and encounters are usually sterile. It is a challenge to create a warm and inviting environment in a virtual visit. Even if the quality of care is up to par, patients may still feel dissatisfied with the service they are getting if they feel that their connection with the provider is not effective and warm. The screen and the short duration of time are especially limiting in terms of cultivating a warm connection. Thus, creating rapport immediately by listening and looking into the camera is important. Doctors must look into the webcam instead of the screen, which may help establish a sense of connection quicker. Moreover, doctors must be compassionate and empathetic by making a non-medical connection with the patient, explaining the protocol, and soliciting patient questions when they are applicable. Doctors should also smile when they greet the patient, use empathetic statements and avoid educational spiels.

Telehealth Tips for Providers: Simple language, focus, and teach-back: Building on the last point, it is imperative that doctors use plain and simple language when speaking with patients. Analogies should be straightforward, and information must be broken up in chunks to make it easily digestible. In addition, the doctor should engage the patient in agenda-setting by prioritizing what will be discussed. They must focus on the important things that the patient must have knowledge of, such as their diagnosis and their treatment instructions. Lastly, the doctor should practice teach-back by asking the patient to repeat what they heard to gauge if the patient understood his or her instructions.

Five Ways to Increase Patient Volume with Telemedicine

Ways to Increase Patient Volume with Telemedicine

The world of health care is ever-changing. It has to grow, expand and adapt in response to the changes in the world around it. In the context of the worldwide pandemic, it has become imperative for businesses to adapt and overcome in response to external stimulus.

Telemedicine has been brought into the mainstream by the pandemic. The use of technology has spawned new ways to grow businesses – one of which is expanding customer bases. Increasing patient volume with telemedicine is a nifty trick that will sustain your business for a long time to come.

How to Grow Your Online Clinic

There are five main ways in which you can increase patient volume with telehealth. Keeping technology and patients at the front and center, these include:

  1. Establishing a presence on social media
  2. Effectively communicating and engaging with patients using automated patient engagement programs
  3. Monitoring your online presence and cultivating positive reviews
  4. Increasing access to medical records
  5. Mobile compatibility

These have been discussed in further detail below.

1.    Increasing patient volume with Social Media

Social media is a crucial tenet of modern lives. On average, Americans look at their phones at least 52 times per day (Deloitte). Phones are the primary way in which people get their information, which is why it is essential to create a digital presence on all social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Social media platforms can be used to communicate necessary information about your practice to customers. They can also be used to market your services in an engaging manner.

Patients or potential customers who like the page on Facebook or share posts on Instagram make the business visible to people on their friend lists. This directs traffic to your social media page, which can then translate into online or offline visits to your practice.

In addition, it is vital to create a sleek, serious-minded, yet engaging profile that draws patients in. Sharing information, facts, and tips on blogs can also help with drawing in potential customers.

2.    Increasing patient volume with positive reviews

Reviews on the internet can make or break your business. Nowadays, when trying something new, people often turn to the internet to get a sense of what the business or practice is like. Thus, it is incredibly likely that patients will look up what other customers have to say about your practice.

Therefore, you must closely evaluate your online presence by paying close attention to your reviews. In case you have some negative reviews, it is best to reach out and show a willingness to rectify your mistakes rather than ignoring them. Take time to respond and engage; this will show your dedication.

On the other hand, encourage your long-time patients to share a review on social media. You can ask them for their feedback on your services and customer care. You can share links with them via social media, or send them a follow-up thank you email or ask them to do it at the end of their visit. Positive reviews have the power to draw in many new customers.

3.    Increasing Patient Volume with Automated Engagement

Using automated patient engagement programs to supplement telehealth can grow your customer base. Many patients forget their appointments or have difficulty navigating telehealth without assistance.

You can address these issues by sending out mass text messages to the patient population which explains their options in terms of telemedicine and how to access them. This can also address issues related to internet access, which is one of the causes of healthcare inequalities, as text messages do not need the internet to operate. In addition, you can enable customers by offering them an option to set up appointments with you through text messages or calls.

Furthermore, indicating that an appointment has been scheduled, sending an automated reminder, and following up with patients after their visits can also help grow and sustain your patient population.

4.    Increasing patient volume with transparency

Many patients do not have access to their medical records online. Increasingly, people have begun to take ownership of their records by tracking their personal health information themselves.

According to a survey conducted by Accenture, nearly 41% of people would be willing to change doctors in order to get access to their personal records (“More…Survey”). Having access to medical records makes patients much more mindful of their appointments and visits. They will be better equipped to manage their healthcare visits as well.

5.    Increasing patient volume with mobile compatible websites

As established before, the modern American turns to the smartphone for everything. Thus, it makes sense to grow your online clinic with a mobile-compatible website or application which allows your patients to peruse for information and self-schedule appointments when needed. This reduces the hassle of reaching for a laptop to schedule an appointment and even addresses patients with anxiety that may hesitate to call and make an appointment.

In addition, website FAQs and customer care helplines provide assistance to patients who may feel lost and address any gaps in information with ease.

 

 

References:

https://newsroom.accenture.com/news/more-than-40-percent-of-us-consumers-willing-to-switch-physicians-to-gain-online-access-to-electronic-medical-records-according-to-accenture-survey.htm

Is Telemedicine the Future of Health Care for Seniors?

Telemedicine for seniors, Benefits of telemedicine

The stereotype that older people are not tech-savvy is prevalent in society. However, this may only be a stereotype as research shows that senior citizens are not as averse to technology as it is being said.

In the USA, 80% of the senior citizens have a cell phone and 70% of them have been known to gather health information through the internet. Especially in times of the pandemic, telemedicine has done wonders for people with health issues, especially for older people.

Telemedicine and senior care

A large majority of senior citizens in the United States are familiar with the current technology. The thing to do now is to get them familiar with telemedicine in hopes that they may live their lives independently. This will greatly increase access to health care professionals for senior citizens. Other than that it will also abolish the need for them having to go long distances for healthcare.

Due to COVID-19, it has become essential for senior citizens to have online access to their physicians because age also diminishes immunity. Among the immune-compromised population of US citizens, the majority is that of older people. The following things are important for senior patients which telemedicine covers:

  •   To help merge behavioral and primary health care, this leads to stronger outcomes.
  •   A need for reduced trips to the emergency room.
  •   A strong need for the reduction of delays in health-care.
  •   A need for reduced transportation barriers especially in remote areas where healthcare may not be available.

Telehealth for seniors and their caregivers

According to research, 50% of senior citizens have 3 or more chronic conditions. For these patients, constant medical care and caregivers are necessary to keep their health in check. The pandemic has not only caused problems for the patients but also their caregivers. The caregivers are mostly loved ones of the older patients who would give all their time and money to care for them. Telemedicine can become a lifeline for these caregivers in ways that are listed down below:

  •     Most caregivers have to take time off work for the scheduled appointments of their loved ones. Telemedicine can remove that barrier by making those appointments from the comforts of their homes.
  •     Caregivers can contact the physicians even from their work so they can gather more information from the physician on how to take care of their aging loved ones,
  •     Research shows that telemedicine can greatly reduce the stress of caregivers after the discharge of a patient.

Types of telemedicine for Senior citizens

There are three different types of telemedicine for seniors that can be used for their needed healthcare.

Synchronous Telemedicine

This refers to the telehealth services that are provided in real-time. These services can be acquired through video-conferencing. For synchronous telemedicine services, all that is needed is a communication device with a camera and a microphone like cellphones, tablets, or personal computers.

Asynchronous Telemedicine

Asynchronous telemedicine services are the ones that do not involve real-time appointments but already stored and forwarded data. This refers to data sent through emails or texts.

Remote Patient Monitoring

Remote patient monitoring allows patients and their caregivers to track data of the vital signs for patients especially the high-risk ones. Most of these patients are ones with chronic ailments. Remote patient monitoring includes tracking blood pressure, heart rate, glucose levels, and much more.

Tips for healthcare providers

When caring for senior individuals, healthcare providers should keep in mind to assess the comfort levels of their patients. Before the appointment, some things that should be kept in mind are:

  •     Call the patient before the appointment to give them instructions on how to use the platform. It is to make sure that the patient knows how to use the technology properly.
  •     Give them instructions in written formats that are easy to understand or better yet, provide screenshots.
  •     Teach those ways to make their experience by giving them instructions to enhance their abilities to use new technologies.

Apart from all that, health care providers should also consider the following things when taking care of senior patients:

  •     Sensory changes
  •     Cognitive changes
  •     Strategies to build a harmonious relationship between them and the patient.

Conclusion

As humans grow older, it is a natural phenomenon that the body becomes weaker with time. This leads to needing better and quicker health care services. Telemedicine is here to fix all the needs of the older people when it comes to healthcare services. There may be a few drawbacks to the system as the technology is relatively new to the world yet it is getting better with time.

On top of all the problems that the seniors citizens have to face to get their necessary health care services, the pandemic has made their safety a huge problem. Telemedicine has played a vital role in ensuring the safety and comfort of the older members of society and will continue to do so.