Patients with chronic diseases make approximately 81% of the hospital admissions in the US. Could Telehealth be a more affordable and more accessible way for those who need constant medical care?
1. What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is the distribution of health-related services and information through telecommunication and electronic information technologies.
Telehealth allows long-distance clinical and patient contact, care, reminders, education, intervention, advice, monitoring, and remote admission.
2. Chronic Disease Management
Chronic diseases are those that last three months or more, such as diabetes, cancer, stroke, chronic heart diseases, etc. More than half of chronic disease patients suffer from multiple chronic conditions. The most common chronic diseases are; cancer, hypertension, diabetes (type2), pulmonary disorders, mental illness, stroke, and heart diseases.
Chronic Disease Management (CDM) is the ongoing care and support to assist those impacted by a chronic health condition, with the needed medical care, knowledge, resources, and skills so they can manage better on a daily basis. CDM is a long healthcare process and usually requires regular visits to the hospital.
For chronic disease patients, receiving quality healthcare could be difficult, depending on their budget, location, and even physical conditions. Therefore chronic disease management, which is a long process, should be more accessible for everyone. And now, with Telehealth, it is more accessible to all who need constant healthcare.
3. How Does It Work?
Telehealth, also known as “Remote Patient Monitoring,’ allows healthcare providers to use technological improvements to manage their patients’ conditions without having to meet in person.
RPM gives specialists and doctors the chance to track their patients better on how well they’re following the treatment plan. When left alone, some patients may not follow all the steps in their treatment plan.
Some patients may not care enough about the minor symptoms to go to the hospital and consult the doctors. But with Telehealth, it’s easier for patients to consult their doctors without having to travel. The doctors could give advice or recommend the patient to take more medicine or to go to the ER.
4. What are the benefits?
Telehealth in chronic disease management has different benefits.
- It is beneficial to those in isolated communities and remote regions, as it allows patients to receive care from doctors or specialists far away without having to travel.
- With the recent technological developments in mobile collaboration, technology can allow healthcare professionals in multiple locations to share information and discuss patient issues.
- Remote Patient Monitoring through mobile technology can reduce the need for outpatient visits and enable remote prescription verification and drug administration oversight, reducing the overall cost of medical care.
- It is also beneficial to those patients with limited mobility.
- Telehealth also facilitates medical education by allowing workers to observe experts in their fields and share the best practices more efficiently.
- Remote Patient Monitoring can eliminate the possible transmission of infectious diseases or parasites between patients and medical staff.
- In addition to all mentioned above, some patients might be uncomfortable with paying a visit to the doctor’s office, could use telehealth services.
- Chronic disease patients make about 81% of the hospital admissions, which costs lots of money, especially for those who live in remote areas.
Therefore healthcare providers are looking for different ways to provide quality healthcare for the patients, with lower costs. Telehealth can reduce the overall cost of chronic disease management.
In conclusion, Telehealth can improve affordable access to quality care by removing barriers such as; mobility, distance, and time constraints. It’s been shown to be as effective as in-person visits for specific conditions.
Tell us your opinions on Telehealth and its benefits on chronic disease management in the comments section!