- Telehealth allows patients to connect with healthcare providers in a virtual setting from anywhere with the help of a device.
- Telehealth increases access to care by allowing patients to work appointments into their schedules without commuting, providing accessibility and convenience.
- Providers also benefit from telehealth, seeing fewer missed appointments while managing less paperwork and fewer scheduling conflicts.
- A resource like Redirect Health connects members with virtual care 24/7, whenever they need it.
Telehealth provides the option for patients to access appointments with a healthcare provider from wherever they are through a computer or device. Virtual care comes with several benefits for patients and providers alike. With less of the stress of commuting, scheduling appointments, and blocking out time to connect with a healthcare provider is far easier. Providers also save time and money with fewer rescheduled appointments.
Telehealth became more popular around the pandemic, as people needed support from their doctors but still needed to keep their distance from others for public safety. However, support for telehealth remained beyond the pandemic. In one survey, over 20% of adults reported using telehealth at some point in the four-week period before the survey between 2021 and 2022.
Today, telehealth services remain a popular, convenient option for many, and the benefits of telehealth mean that it’s likely to continue to grow well into the future. Companies like Redirect Health are making it easier to access healthcare through the convenience of your device.
Benefits of Telehealth
The ability to access healthcare in the palm of your hand has wide-ranging potential, offering benefits for individuals, healthcare providers, and the healthcare system as a whole. From easier accessibility to lower costs, there are many advantages to telehealth services.
1. Improved Accessibility and Convenience
The ability to access healthcare from anywhere makes attaining healthcare more achievable. You can access your healthcare appointments from wherever you are.
- No commuting – Telehealth cuts down the inconveniences of travel to and from appointments, saving time and stress. This benefit is especially valuable for people with limited mobility issues or busy schedules. Patients do not have to worry about calling off work or rescheduling important commitments.
- More flexible scheduling – Between not having to commute and having the option to attend your appointment from anywhere, you can more easily work telehealth into your schedule. It’s easier to visit the doctor between commitments, like work or on your lunch break, instead of having to carve out a special time in the day and put everything on hold.
- Reduced financial burden – Without having to commute to seek care, patients can avoid paying for other additional costs, like gas, parking, or missed wages at work.
- Eliminates geographical barriers – Telehealth gives everyone access to a doctor, no matter where they are. This is a significant benefit for people living in rural areas or far from healthcare providers.
2. Better Patient Health Outcomes
Because telehealth is more accessible, it also yields better patient health outcomes. For many, the lack of accessibility alone is enough to prevent them from seeking routine healthcare when they need it. Telehealth ensures patients get the support they need quicker so they can enjoy better outcomes.
Some ways that telehealth services provide better patient health outcomes include:
- Reduced waiting times for appointments allow patients to receive the care and treatment they need more quickly, instead of days or weeks later.
- Easier follow-up for appointments so that patients can discuss test or lab results with their healthcare provider and take action quicker.
- Accessibility for more frequent check-ins with healthcare providers, which is especially helpful for people with chronic conditions or who need post-hospitalization care.
- Easier ability for patients to interact with caregivers and specialists who can provide more detailed treatment education and support.
- Telehealth platforms and patient portals offer a convenient place to monitor test results and more easily interact with patient care.
These benefits for patient outcomes even help reduce hospital readmission rates. Because patients are better able to receive quality care to address their concerns, they’re less likely to need to return to a facility to address a worsening condition.
3. Advantages for Healthcare Providers
Healthcare providers value the increasing popularity of telehealth just as much as patients, as they and their staff also have much to gain. The option for telehealth has reduced the burden on healthcare providers and allowed for more efficient resource allocation and workflows.
Some of the advantages that telehealth offers providers include:
- A reduced workload placed on office staff, like managing paperwork, gathering intake data, and preparing rooms in between patients.
- The reduced workload and improved efficiency also reduce the stress placed on clinicians and staff, which gives them the ability to provide better, more attentive care to patients.
- Streamlined processes for patient data management and gathering electronic health records, taking strain off receptionists and staff within a medical office.
- No-show rates for telehealth are lower than face-to-face appointments, so providers are able to use their time more wisely with less rescheduling.
4. Benefits for the Healthcare System
Telehealth is great on an individual level, but it also offers advantages for the industry as a whole. For starters, telehealth is more cost-effective, reducing costs for both patients and providers.
Because telehealth provides early intervention and preventive care more easily to patients, it often addresses conditions before they need more extensive care and prevents patients from going down a rabbit hole of appointments and treatments.
This saves providers and patients time and money on treatments that are avoidable through early intervention.
Meanwhile, telehealth also takes the strain off of important healthcare systems. Many people seek healthcare by visiting the emergency room as a first step to accessing care. When this is a first step for people unsure of how to navigate the healthcare process, this can put stress on emergency departments and their ability to serve patients effectively.
With virtual care as a more convenient option, people can seek quality care from their homes and reduce the pressure placed on emergency facilities.
Challenges of Telehealth
As with any great resource, telehealth does come with its potential challenges and disadvantages. Fortunately, the challenges are not enough to outweigh the benefits of telehealth, but they’re still helpful to keep in mind and address as the option continues to grow in popularity.
Some potential challenges of telehealth include:
- Privacy concerns – Some people may have concerns about the privacy and security of personal information when navigating healthcare through telehealth options. However, this is a priority for many providers, who use tools that are encrypted and password-protected, which addresses many of these concerns.
- Regulatory concerns – As with any new and popular technology, telehealth comes with concerns surrounding how to regulate it. These regulations include setting appropriate costs compared to in-person visits and determining which platforms are the safest and most secure.
- Limitations – Telehealth isn’t appropriate for every single case. You will still need to visit an in-person clinic if you need blood testing, labs, or more detailed observation. However, for most general needs, telehealth is a suitable option.
- Socioeconomic disparities – Not everyone has access to the latest technology and necessary internet bandwidth and speed to make telehealth realistic. Medical and tech providers must continue to make efforts to ensure access to as many people as possible.
Still, even with the potential concerns surrounding telehealth, technological advancements and increased adoptions of telehealth services will only make it more efficient and more attainable for a larger percentage of the population. Continued advancements will also improve upon the potential of telehealth to assess even more conditions.
How Redirect Health’s Telehealth Model Can Help You
Telehealth has become incredibly popular in recent years, and the convenience it offers proves that it’s likely to remain a reliable option throughout the future. With the right resources, you can save time, energy, and money by scheduling an appointment with ease.
Redirect Health can connect you with telehealth resources whenever you need them and take all the stress out of scheduling all while providing this service at no cost to our members. With 24/7 access to healthcare through the Redirect Health Member App, access to the care you need is only a few clicks away with our affordable plans.
All in one app you can gain access to a Care Team that can navigate you through the entire healthcare process. Coordinate virtual or in-office appointments, manage prescriptions, and take care of payments all from the palm of you hard! Enjoy a truly seamless healthcare experience. Contact us today to learn more about healthcare plans and telehealth options that Redirect Health has to offer.
Learn more about what Redirect Health plans have to offer you and your family at www.redirecthealth.com