In recent years, telehealth has become a staple in providing top-quality care to patients of all populations. While most commonly known for their virtual visit and remote monitoring capabilities, these platforms are also able to facilitate a great deal of other advanced healthcare processes. Arguably one of the most beneficial features of these platforms is their ability to manage most, if not all patient needs through remote patient management. Through this, the handling of patients’ needs, and conducting pre-operative preparations can be made seamless.
Analyzing Pre-Operative Standards
Pre-operative preparations for medical procedures vary depending on the nature of the surgery being performed but generally consist of procedures that healthcare staff and patients must follow to ensure a successful operation. These preparations are essential for ensuring patient safety, play an important role in efficiency within healthcare organizations, and can help patients achieve better operative outcomes if followed correctly. Traditionally, pre-operative surgery procedures are carried out during in-person consultations with patients. While there are many benefits to meeting patients face-to-face to discuss the steps they must take prior to surgery, the use of Telehealth applications can actually make pre-operative care more effective given that it allows patients to access educational resources, set reminders for specific limitations, follow up with their healthcare providers quickly if they have any questions or concerns.
How Remote Patient Management Is Making A difference in Pre-Operative Care
When preparing for surgery, it’s crucial for patients and healthcare providers to have an organized plan, clear communication, and established goals. For patients, pre-operative preparation can include making dietary adjustments or fasting, restricting or taking certain medications, and reading up on the recovery process. For healthcare providers, the list of pre-operative preparations is much more tedious. Some steps providers often take prior to surgery include: Assessing and diagnosing a patient’s condition, setting a surgery date, discussing potential risks, and organizing the operation with their healthcare team. While it may sometimes be necessary to conduct an in-person visit for assessing and diagnosing a patient, many of these processes can be carried out through a remote patient management platform.
Here, we will cover some of the benefits of remote patient management and the features that can be used to improve pre-operative processes:
Enhances Efficiency Within Healthcare Organizations
Remote patient management is best known for its ability to create more efficient healthcare processes. With pre-operative care, features such as remote monitoring, virtual communication, and resource sharing can all be used to make the process of preparing patients and healthcare staff easier. By enhancing efficiency during these processes, healthcare organizations can ensure all patients are well-looked after prior to their operation, and healthcare staff and resources are being fully utilized.
When organizing surgical procedures, hospitals and other healthcare organizations put in a great deal of effort to ensure the right patients are able to receive the care they need at the right times. With this, comes a need for strategic, precise planning. One real-world example of this type of planning is deciding which patients should receive priority for operations when healthcare facilities are overwhelmed. In an article published by PMC, their researchers examined the use of telemedicine for providing pre-operative care during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic caused hospitals to become inundated with patients in critical condition, healthcare providers around the world have been forced to adapt the way they prioritize patients for operations. The findings of this research show that with Telehealth, healthcare providers are able to collect patient data such as changes in symptoms to determine the order in which patients receive surgery.
In addition to creating more efficient means for triaging patients, remote patient management also allows healthcare providers to communicate more efficiently with patients. Through the use of secure messaging, file sharing, video conferencing, and more, providers can conduct patient assessments to determine the status of their condition and share important operation-related information. By completing these pre-operative processes remotely, healthcare organizations can reduce the amount of time and resources they must allocate to each patient while still delivering the same quality of care.
Improves Patient Involvement & Compliance
Patient involvement and compliance are always priorities when providing care, especially when it comes to medical procedures. Before patients enter the operating room, it’s essential that they are aware of the responsibilities they have to ensure a safe and successful procedure. This can include: Going without eating, not drinking water, and abstaining from alcohol or other substances for hours, or days leading up to the operation. In the case that a patient forgets to follow these pre-operative rules set by their healthcare provider, they may risk an unsafe procedure, or end up having to cancel the operation altogether.
With fully-equipped remote patient management platforms such as aTouchAway, healthcare providers can ensure patients know exactly when they must start making changes or restricting consumption. When a patient is scheduled for surgery, providers who use this platform can send a welcome message with information related to their surgery, and a reminder for the date and time of the procedure 5 days prior. Automated alerts can then be delivered to patients with clear instructions on what they should or shouldn’t consume, as well as suggestions for how they should prepare for the surgery. Additionally, patients are assigned a designated registered nurse to answer any questions prior to their surgery.
By keeping patients engaged, and following up with them regularly before they come in for surgery, providers can improve patients’ outlook on their operation, and encourage them to take the required measures for a successful surgery.
Continuing To Improve Pre-Operative Processes Through Remote Patient Management
When looking at some of the common challenges faced during pre-operative processes, it’s clear that there is room for continued improvements. Through remote patient management, providers can improve these complex processes to create a more efficient healthcare organization, and encourage higher engagement levels among patients. With these improvements, healthcare organizations can continue to optimize their operations to provide high-quality care to more and more patients.
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