The incredible, recent advancements in technology has sparked the adoption of telehealth – a new way for providing instant and timely medical care and consultation for patients at remote locations.
Telehealth is not merely using video conferencing tools, but it entails a gigantic transformation in technology, infrastructure, operational process, human resources, and doctor-patient relationship. Of all the change agents, technology is the factor that makes the biggest impact.
There are two technologies – online video conferencing and self-serving kiosks – both of which are changing the relationship between healthcare providers, patients, and medical facilities, for the better.
As we all know it could be a tedious process booking medical appointments and taking the time to travel back and forth just for one simple cheque-up. For people who live far away or are busy juggling multiple jobs, it’s very difficult to make the time for something that’s critically important.
One of the change agents that propel telehealth’s growth, as mentioned above, is technology. With the help of online video conferencing and self-serving kiosks at medical facilities, more and more people can now get medical support without sacrificing a chunk of their day.
With online video communication tools, doctors and patients can easily connect with real-time feedback. The ease of use of these tools also makes it easy to set up an appointment, which is especially convenient for people who live far away from the medical centre and often need to rely on public transportation for the long commute.
The time and cost alone for a simple appointment makes people reluctant to get help, which sometimes can be detrimental in missing the window to spot early symptoms of illness. For people who don’t have time to spare, like working multiple jobs or needing to take care of the family, an easy meeting online can also be a lifesaver. Patients can easily cheque in with doctors to determine if an in-person examination is needed.
As self-serving kiosks have been seeing wider adoption throughout many industries, notably retail, servicing, and public spaces, the trend is also making an impact for the healthcare industry. Hospitals and medical facilities can set up kiosks for patient cheque-in, building directory & wayfinding, patient information logging, payment, and much more.
Imagine this: before a patient walks into an appointment, he or she can cheque-in using a kiosk without needing a staff writing down all the information by hand and manually typing it into the computer. If a patient needs to go through a series of examinations, the directives can be provided by a kiosk. If there’s going to be another appointment, the patient can use the kiosk to see the details and print out the information for record-keeping.
Having self-serving kiosks can save patients and medical staff a lot of time from waiting just for administrative procedures to be done. The kiosks can also be placed throughout the facility, so patients have easy access.
For patients who have a chronic illness and need to regularly go to a medical facility for cheque-ups, telehealth can save them from having to commute back and forth. Although it’s not only just saving time for patients, it’s better resource allocation for every party involved. The benefits include:
The ability for doctors to provide medical advice and get real-time feedback from the patients all without having to leave home can greatly improve the relationship and the quality altogether.
Now since it’s easier for both parties to connect with each other with more flexibility in terms of schedule and frequency, doctors can get to know the patients better on a personal level. When a healthy and positive relationship is established, the overall quality and experience can be greatly improved since more details, real-time feedback and communication can be provided.
Another big technology that can help reduce workload and increase efficiency for the entire process and experience is self-serving kiosks. When patients do need to go to the hospital, much of the time is often spent filling out forms, waiting in line, finding directions, and many more administrative processes. Here are some common use cases:
In addition to bringing in physical kiosks with specialised software built to streamline various processes, there is also software like device lockdown solutions that ensure the kiosks can work the way they are intended for. Device lockdown solutions can allow IT managers to lock the kiosk down to just the one application (cheque-in portal, wayfinding, and any other specialised application) and visitors aren’t able to tamper with the kiosk.
One of the benefits of implementing telehealth services like online video conferencing and self-serving kiosks is to help lower overhead costs and better allocate resources:
Implementing telehealth-related technologies is just one of the things that you should do to drive the transformation. To build a sustainable and scalable telehealth service for your patients, you need to consider factors like:
Your care providers might also need to provide guidance and directions when connecting with the patients as most people aren’t used to using technology tools for medical appointments. Your IT team should also have the ability to provide support remotely when the software or devices used for telehealth aren’t working properly as they should.
The last thing you want to do is spend millions of dollars implementing infrastructure and solutions that don’t work well with your facilities, medical staff, and IT support team. With the right solutions in place, telehealth services can not only help save unnecessary costs but also free up more resources for everyone.
Care providers who are looking to implement telehealth services can visit telehealth.hhs.gov to find tips for building workflows and getting started.Published by
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