When you have chronic health conditions, like CHF or COPD, you may have a lot of frequent medical needs. But it can be difficult to get to a doctor’s office or go to the hospital every time you don’t feel well. Fortunately, technology has given us new options for healthcare. One of the most exciting newer developments is telehealth, which can reduce emergencies and hospital readmissions by tracking patient’s conditions daily with a clinician over the phone. Here’s how it works and what it can do for you.
What is Telehealth?
The point of telehealth is that it’s a cost-effective and easy way for you to stay on top of your healthcare without having to leave your home. It allows better communication with your physician, which can result in more positive outcomes for chronic conditions.
Who is Telehealth Designed For?
Telehealth isn’t the right solution for everyone. However, it is extremely helpful for patients who fit a certain profile. The types of patients who are well-suited for telehealth include those who:
- Have chronic health conditions, such as CHF or COPD
- Regularly see at least two specialists
- Are frequently hospitalized
- See their primary care doctor at least once a month
- Have difficulty following instructions, especially regarding medication schedulees
- Have difficulty getting to the doctor, including transportation problems
Telehealth is designed for patients who need a little more regular follow-up with medical staff.
What Are the Benefits of Telehealth?
Because telehealth is for patients with chronic conditions which require frequent medical visits, it can be a great tool to help patients manage their own health. It can become confusing when you regularly have to see several different specialists and take multiple medications. Patients may miss appointments or forget to take medications as directed.
Telehealth providers help patients stay organized. Getting a daily check-in from medical staff can help patients manage their own conditions more effectively.
In addition to helping patients manage their health, telehealth providers also reduce healthcare costs associated with these chronic conditions. Patients who have a member of the medical team check in with them are less likely to be re-hospitalized after a hospital visit or to go to the emergency room.
Telehealth Helps Providers, Too
Beyond being helpful for patients, it’s also beneficial to their doctors as well. Patients with chronic conditions are more likely to visit their providers on a regular basis. That means that their doctors have to be in the loop about how the patient’s doing between visits.
When the clinician calls the patients every day, they keep detailed notes about how the patient is doing. At the end of each week, the telehealth representative gives a summary of the patient’s condition.
This regular communication between the patient and the doctor ensures better care and will identify problems before they occur.
Patients with challenging chronic conditions will always need more medical care than healthy patients. But by having a third party check on the patient every day, it can help patients get the right kind of care when they need it. Telehealth is a perfect solution to help manage chronic conditions.
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