Did you know that three out of four patients want to go online to communicate with their doctors, view lab results and schedule services? And did you know that nearly half of them would consider switching to doctors and hospitals that have those capabilities?
It’s inevitable that in today’s day and age, telemedicine is spreading through all areas of healthcare. Especially with the push for hospitals to reduce costs and become part of Accredited Care Organizations.
Telemedicine actually can improve patient-provider communications, and accelerate the speed and delivery of care, all while reducing costs.
It also helps address issues that plague hospitals, such as overcrowding of emergency rooms by directing patients to the most appropriate level of care, cutting down on unnecessary ER visits.
Even the Veterans Affairs Department is jumping on the telemedine bandwagon. It recently set a lofty goal of conducting more than 200,000 “telemental health” consultations during fiscal 2012 in an effort to increase veterans’ access to mental healthcare services.
According to a VA news release, by doing this, the VA community-based outpatient clients who don’t have mental healthcare providers available will use secure video conferencing technology to connect veterans with providers.
While many hospitals of all types are doing their best to embrace telemedicine, having the staff to implement and run it can be challenging when facilities are trying to cut costs.
But hospitals don’t have to go it alone.
Companies are out there that can help hospitals implement telemedicine into their facilities, without a huge investment.
Consult A Doctor’s MyHospital 24/7 is a cloud-based service delivery platform that can be configured to provide hospitals, clinics and health systems with the ability to offer convenient, efficient, affordable access to physicians by phone, secure messaging, video or mobile app around the clock.
With hospitals being pushed to save wherever they can, telemedicine can help save a lot of money by eliminating unnecessary or excessive care. It can also help expand facilities’ reach beyond traditional geographical boundaries and drive referrals, which help increase revenue and reduce the overall cost of healthcare delivery and access.
Often these programs require nominal start-up fees, little integration efforts and almost no technological updates, since they function off of web-based dashboards and ports which require Internet or telephone access — basic features that hospitals already have in place.