Telemedicine Can Help Both Rural and Metropolitan Clinics and Hospitals Improve Patient Care
Hospitals, clinics, and specialty medical practices across the country are increasingly turning to video collaboration and other technologies to serve more patients and meet those patients’ care needs. Whether a medical specialist is across town or across the country from the hospital or clinic where the patient is receiving treatment, video collaboration solutions allow for instant, personal communication between providers, and between medical specialists and the patients they are treating.
Telecommunications and Telemedicine are Changing Patient Care
Today, most people are familiar with video conferencing tools like Skype and FaceTime, even if they have not used them personally. Telemedicine is an extension of that technology, designed to allow health care providers and medical specialists to use technology to consult with each other and with their patients, and to diagnose and treat those patients’ needs.
For example, hospitals often use telemedicine to provide services to patients battling specific types of diseases or conditions for which the facility does not have a provider on-site regularly. Similarly, clinics use telemedicine so that primary care physicians can consult with specialists. Health care providers also leverage the collaboration features of telemedicine solutions to outsource the review and evaluation of diagnostic tests when the provider doesn’t have someone in-house who can perform those tasks.
Using video collaboration tools in the health care field also means doctors and their care teams can check on patients who are recovering from surgeries or other procedures at home, or on patients who are managing chronic conditions and are homebound.
Video Collaboration Services Prove Useful for Provider Development
Telemedicine solutions have applications beyond patient diagnosis and treatment. Using video collaboration tools, health care facilities with multiple campuses can bring providers together for live video meetings and interactive discussions. It’s also proven useful for provider-to-provider conversations and consultations, interdisciplinary reviews, and coordinating patient care.
Providers can remain in compliance with HIPAA requirements while sharing patients’ test results, charts, documents, and other data. Video telemedicine solutions can play a part in surgical training and can even allow surgeons to consult with others in real time, performing remote-guided surgery.
Benefits for Rural, Suburban, and Metropolitan Health Care Providers
While telemedicine originally focused on serving remote patients, doctors and health care facility administrators were quick to realize that its benefits go beyond simply bringing health care services to patients in rural or other hard-to-serve communities.
Major metropolitan hospitals and clinics use video collaboration solutions to give their patients access to specialists who are physically located off-campus. This not only significantly expands patients’ access to care, it also reduces travel cost and expense.
Telemedicine collaboration solutions have applications today for a variety of types of health care fields, including oncology, radiology, psychiatry, dermatology, ophthalmology, nephrology, obstetrics, pathology, and even rehabilitation. As more hospitals and clinics begin to adopt collaboration tools, this list is only likely to grow, as innovative solutions and ways to leverage technology are identified and adopted. Of course, video collaboration solutions will likely never completely replace face-to-face appointments with providers, but the potential benefits to patients and providers alike in the patient care realm are compelling.
How Could Your Health Care Organization Benefit from Telemedicine Video Collaboration Solutions?
At Communication Technologies, Inc. (CTI), we help health care organizations and other businesses throughout Northern New England by providing communications solutions, implementation, and support designed to help our clients grow and meet their clients’ needs.
To learn more about how video collaboration solutions can help your medical practice reach and treat more patients, contact CTI today.