As a healthcare provider, one of your many responsibilities is ensuring your patients receive the best quality of care. However, with heavily strained healthcare systems in all corners of the world and limited resources, juggling everyday challenges while providing the best possible care for patients can be challenging. Fortunately, there are many solutions available today, such as telemedicine, that healthcare providers can use to improve efficiency within their organization and better meet the needs of their patients.
Providing the Best Care for Your Patients
Many healthcare providers are utilizing telemedicine to improve patient outcomes and increase the capabilities of their healthcare organizations. Although telemedicine is still relatively new, it is seeing widespread adoption across most developed nations as an alternative to traditional in-person care. As more and more people begin utilizing telehealth, it is vital to learn how it can be used to treat patients most effectively. By understanding the best practices for providing a comfortable and effective telemedicine experience to patients, you can ensure your patients and staff can continue benefiting from its features and convenience in the long run.
Use a Platform That Meets Your Patients’ Needs
When providing care for your patients through telemedicine, the platform you use must be able to facilitate healthcare visits and appointments that are up to par with in-person care. For those with chronic health conditions who have trouble traveling to and from appointments frequently, telemedicine can connect them with their healthcare provider without the hassle. Suppose a patient’s condition requires regular vital sign assessments or other monitoring. In that case, you should ensure you are using a platform that can collect vital signs and conduct remote patient monitoring to lessen the need for in-person appointments.
For many patients, healthcare visits are a part of their monthly or weekly routine, so there will likely be an adjustment period where they will need to become comfortable with this new method of care. To make this transition to telemedicine smoother, the platform you use should also have a simple interface with features that allow them to access their care needs. Some popular features to look for include care plan management, clinical workflows, audio and video conferencing, and secure messaging.
Provide Patients With Educational Resources
As patients begin utilizing telemedicine as their primary care method, providing them with educational resources is one way you can ensure they will achieve a better experience. Resources such as educational self-management tools not only provide patients with a greater sense of independence and control over their illness but have also been shown to improve health outcomes.
While educational resources are not exclusive to telemedicine, it has been shown that patients have seen better outcomes when implemented through these platforms compared to traditional care. In an article published by PubMed, 16 studies were evaluated to determine the efficacy of education delivered through telemedicine for patients with chronic illnesses. Of the 16 studies, 11 showed to have improved outcomes for patients. By providing these resources to patients through your chosen platform, you can assess their results and continue with this delivery method if they achieve favourable outcomes.
Monitor Patients and Motivate Them To Continue With Their Progress
One of the most critical aspects of providing adequate care to patients through telemedicine is ensuring they continue treating and managing their illness proactively. As you will be seeing certain patients in person less frequently, some may need reminders for specific medications or adjustments in their care plans depending on their changing symptoms.
When making the switch to telemedicine, it is also essential that patients know their responsibilities when it comes to managing their health. A journal published by Viewpoint lists patient responsibilities as using medications properly, changing behaviours to improve symptoms, interpreting and reporting symptoms accurately, etc. If these responsibilities are not met, patient outcomes are likely to worsen. To ensure patients can adhere to these self-management practices and continue with their progress, you can help motivate them by addressing their efforts and doing your part to ensure the telehealth platform you use is equipped with features that allow them to track and manage their progress.
Improvements You Can Expect With Enhanced Telemedicine Delivery
With any healthcare process there will inevitably be some degree of variance among patient and organizational outcomes. However, when it comes to telemedicine, research shows that when implemented and continued correctly, there are distinct benefits that can positively impact everyone involved. Some key benefits include reduced overhead costs, access to better care for those living in remote areas, convenience for providers, and better support for those living with chronic illnesses, just to name a few.
By following the best practices for providing care through telemedicine, you can ensure your patients and the staff who administer their care are equipped with the right tools and knowledge to have a successful telemedicine experience.
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