How the Healthcare industry is also getting digitized?

BY SECOND CONSULT Published on September 10, 2020

The healthcare and pharmaceutical industries have lagged behind when it comes to implementing digital strategies. In fact, in a recent survey, only seven percent of healthcare and pharmaceutical companies said they had gone digital, compared to 15 percent of companies in other industries.Although quite late, the healthcare industry is also stepping into the world of digitization. Digital space can be quite overwhelming and being in a healthcare business several decisions are hard to take like what emerging technologies are worth investing in, adding on, adapting to the digital era requires a shift towards a flexible and risk-taking mindset. It means letting go of outdated business processes and trusting that disruption will yield big results. Digital transformation in health care is the positive impact of technology in healthcare. Telemedicine, artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled medical devices, and blockchain electronic health records are just a few concrete examples of digital transformation in healthcare.

Burgeoning technology holds the potential to improve the quality and reduce the cost of medical care. Thanks to this information technology, patients can now get better treatment through telehealth, online consultation and advanced mobile technology.

Telehealth lends itself well to both the primary care and specialist, allowing them to further their reach, treating patients wherever there is an Internet connection. Today, telehealth applications are software-as-a-service (SaaS) and as close as the smartphone a doctor – and their patient – keep in their pocket or purse. Today’s telehealth platforms no longer require big upfront overhead costs but are part of monthly subscription packages that are as secure and HIPAA-compliant as they are affordable.

Let’s have a better look at how Telehealth can transform our lives. Second Consult is elated to be a part of this revolution.

Telehealth as a business model:

Telehealth as a business model is shifting the paradigm by advancing consumer-based care. With telehealth, clinicians can extend their patient base beyond brick-and-mortar facilities, extending hours, and creating new and more convenient models for their patients.

Improves Patient Engagement:

The increasing role of consumerism and value-based reimbursement in healthcare has led hospitals and health systems to emphasize new ways of interacting with their patients to engage them in self-care. Treating patients proactively requires clinicians to teach patients how to care for themselves between clinical visits. With an increase in chronic health conditions, using telehealth for remote monitoring is just one way that medical providers can improve outcomes while still cutting costs. Today, telehealth is being used to report patient metrics from the comfort of the patient’s own home, while remote teams act as coach and counselor as they engage patients in their own journey toward health.

Improved Efficiency and healthcare quality:

Telehealth can increase clinical workflow efficiency. It can serve as the conduit for quicker prioritization of care delivery, triaging each case and improving communication by capturing, storing, and using patient data for better medical decision-making.

Increases Practice Revenue:

In addition to reducing overhead costs per visit, telehealth is less time-consuming, both for the patient and provider. Telehealth can allow physicians to bill for uncompensated phone calls while also extending hours to capture more billable time. Telehealth cuts down on no-shows and can improve the efficiency of a practice. Telehealth can also provide a competitive advantage, attracting and retaining more patients with new models of care. Unlike expensive hospital systems, SaaS telehealth applications are low cost to implement. 

Telehealth for patients from rural/remote locations:

Increasing physician shortage has enabled telehealth to flourish as this mode can help stretch our provider networks in new ways to expand access to care. Telehealth can be used to reach patients in rural areas and outside the normal care delivery systems. The tool can be used for midlevel patient education as well as physician diagnosis, reaching a variety of people in new ways.Telehealth has certainly proved to be a boon to patients hailing from remote or rural locations. Considering the fact that advanced mobile technology and internet connectivity has reached even the remotest locations of India, access to telehealth to these inaccessible locations is now just a matter of time. Taking advantage of online consultation, patients can now consult renowned doctors and medical practitioners from anywhere increasing the possibility of better diagnosis and medical advice.

Telehealth improves healthcare quality, particularly in rural settings. That’s because the technology can improve service delivery and treatment of acute conditions. Telehealth is also being used to divert unnecessary ER visits. It also improves the convenience of receiving treatment by allowing patients to receive care without traveling long distances.

Cost effective to the patients:

Patients spend a lot of money and time seeking healthcare. With a telehealth visit, the doctor comes to the patient on their phone, laptop, or another digital device. Imagine how the costs of travel, parking, childcare, and taking time off work can accumulate. The additional effort that it takes to travel to a remote doctor’s facility can be stressful, but it is the costs that can really add up. In some rural regions, patients must travel overnight to reach specialists in more urban regions. Adding on to this, an increasing number of patients these days are demanding healthcare at their convenience to tackle their busy schedules.

Telehealth is here to stay and is likely to play an increasing role in future health care. Pressure from patients, and an increasingly litigious environment, make it important that in cases of doubt an appropriate professional opinion is sought. Telemedicine offers a method of seeking that opinion quickly and cheaply, thus providing a solution to an increasing problem in the delivery of health care.

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