Since late 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a great deal of attention to healthcare systems around the globe. One topic that commonly comes up in the news and media is the strain that these healthcare systems face on a daily basis. While the pandemic has shined a light on this issue, many healthcare systems have been overwhelmed since long before the pandemic emerged.
Healthcare strain is caused by excessive demand for healthcare services and a lack of resources. This can occur when there is an influx of patients with various needs, and a lack of staff, hospital beds, or equipment required to effectively provide care. To reduce strain, many healthcare organizations are implementing technology-based solutions, such as remote patient management systems that allow providers to improve their team’s efficiency and meet the needs of more patients.
How Remote Patient Management Benefits Our Healthcare Systems
Remote patient management is a solution that utilizes technology to collect patient’s health insights and deliver them directly to their care team. One of its most notable benefits is the flexibility it provides to healthcare providers and their patients. Through telehealth platforms that support remote patient management, patients can track and monitor their health from anywhere and are able to easily connect with their care team through virtual appointments.
Remote patient management also allows healthcare providers to automate or enhance processes that would otherwise require ample time and resources. This improves efficiency within healthcare organizations and has been shown to positively impact the way patients experience care.
Here, we will introduce some of the ways remote patient management reduces strain on our healthcare systems, and explore some of its many benefits.
Reduces Operational Costs
Healthcare costs can be quite complex, and differ from country to country. Generally, universal healthcare systems in developed nations are funded by government tax dollars, however, many countries still rely on single-payer healthcare systems. No matter which system a country uses, reducing costs is essential to long-term sustainability within the healthcare sector, as most healthcare organizations must operate on a tight budget.
By utilizing remote patient management, healthcare organizations such as medical clinics and hospitals can improve their processes, which ultimately lowers the costs associated with providing care to patients. These organizations can reduce staffing costs by automating repetitive processes such as assigning and adjusting patient care plans and reducing the amount of time required to meet with each patient. Furthermore, telehealth tools such as remote patient management systems can help patients begin managing symptoms much sooner than with traditional care, which has been shown to reduce ICU admittance rates by up to 30% and lower overall care costs.
Reduces the Overflow of Patients in Hospitals
Patient overflow is a common issue faced by hospitals. When there are an excessive amount of patients, and not enough resources, space, or staff available to care for them, hospitals become overwhelmed and patients can experience long wait times or lower-quality care. This increased demand for hospital services can occur for a variety of reasons. One we have seen recently, for example, is the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals can also experience an increase in demand from patients when health ailments are not addressed and managed early on.
For many patients, one of the main challenges of managing their health is being able to access healthcare services in a timely manner. In Canada, this issue is largely due to a shortage of healthcare professionals. Nearly 4.8 million Canadians report not having a regular family doctor, an issue that largely affects those living in rural communities. With remote patient management, patients can receive access to healthcare services when they need them, from wherever they are, granted that they have access to the internet.
Reduces Employee Burnout
When healthcare organizations become overwhelmed for long periods of time, it is common for employees to experience work burnout. Burnout is a stress-related condition that can cause severe exhaustion, loss of motivation, and feelings of self-doubt. Burnout not only negatively affects the healthcare professionals experiencing it, but can also impact the care they are able to provide to patients.
With 1 in 3 physicians experiencing burnout at any given time and an increasing number of nurses and other healthcare professionals reporting chronic work stress, it is clear that enhancing healthcare processes is necessary. By implementing telehealth solutions such as remote patient management, healthcare organizations can reduce the workload for their staff, and effectively treat a greater number of patients.
Continuing To Reduce Strain on Our Healthcare System With Remote Patient Management
Remote patient management has been adopted by leading healthcare organizations around the world in efforts to improve patient care and make healthcare processes more efficient. With features that allow providers to regularly monitor patient symptoms and virtual communication features which let patients stay connected with all members of their care circles, healthcare systems can continue benefiting from all that these solutions offer.
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