Telehealth is transforming the way underserved communities in rural or remote areas receive care by using technology such as computers and mobile phones especially in times of the COVID-10 pandemic, which brought about isolation and quarantine. Telehealth assists people who live too far away from specialists, has restricted mobility, or don’t have access to transportation overcome hurdles to care. Telehealth can assist clinicians in monitoring patients with chronic illnesses like diabetes, respiratory disease, or heart disease, which can enhance their quality of life, reduce the need for hospitalization, and reduce the risk of death from those illnesses. Let’s look at the five benefits of telehealth in rural areas for patients in 2022:
1. Connecting Providers and Patients in Rural Areas
One of the benefits of telehealth for patients in rural areas is the connection and communication between the patient and the providers. CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion uses several approaches to help improve the health of rural residents. Accordingly, one approach is telehealth, which is the delivery of health care through technology such as mobile phones or computers.
Through telehealth, providers will be able to connect to their patients at a distance. The providers can leverage their services through the use of technology and communicate to their patients beyond the four walls of hospitals and clinics. Like a burden of a patient in some transportation or mobility issues living in a faraway area, through telehealth the use of telecommunication technology the patient can have access to its providers delivering the same service in scheduled visits. Telehealth enhances the monitoring process between the patient and providers because of the easy access through calls or video-conferencing which consider as an effective way to monitor and do counseling.
2. Promoting Patient-Centered Health Care
Telehealth provides the need to encourage quality, improved outcomes, and patient satisfaction. Using telehealth and promoting non-face-to-face appointments is one little step in implementing patient-centered health care. Putting the patients first is the main priority that will be benefited especially those who are living in rural areas. For example, they can see a doctor anytime anywhere without so much effort time waiting and traveling for a very long period. They also can have access to their health data due to its advanced features in monitoring the health of the patients. Furthermore, healthcare providers can more effectively and easily educate patients in the comfort of their home, give access to health services, and give recommendations, tips, and direct intervention on managing their health in order to gain the best service and benefits they expect.
3. Reducing Patient Readmission and Hospitalization
Patient readmission and hospitalization considers as highest healthcare costs. This can be prevented and reduced with telehealth. For example, a heart failure patient, through telecommunication it will allow the doctors to provide timely intervention upon early detection of clinical decompensation. This will then prevent deterioration of the patient’s condition that may constrain readmission and hospitalization is a remarkable benefit to the patient.
4. Enabling Timely Care
Telehealth technologies could enable timely care for patients in rural areas. It could offer continuing care with the patient anytime while enhancing time adjustment also. Through phones and computers, they could access their providers and do some inquiries at their most convenient time. At the same time, their providers could extend their services 24/7, do schedule counseling, and even virtual check-ups to save more time and they could choose their chosen time.
5. Reducing Costs
Studies tell us that the cost of care has gone up by nearly $1 trillion from 1996 to 2013. Accordingly, telehealth is a public promising health instrument because of its ability to significantly increase access to health care for medically underserved populations, as well as the widespread belief that it can reduce healthcare costs and improve health outcomes overall. Just like in rural areas medical devices have been short in supply due its increasing demand and telehealth is often seen as a more effective solution for people to receive services and care they need. If confinement and readmission could be avoided a patient cost could be reduced. If a patient could not travel far because he could have access to doctors anytime anywhere so transportation costs will be reduced and even fees for check-ups on scheduled appointments could be eliminated.
DrKumo RPM Technology for Providers in Rural Areas
One methodology of Telehealth is Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM). DrKumo, Inc., a leader in RPM, utilizes a state-of-the-art yet very simple, secure, and easy-to-use RPM and sensor-fusion technology. DrKumo brings a lot of value to give benefits to the patients and the healthcare providers. The key values are increased reimbursement, reduced readmissions, patient satisfaction, no-cost, turnkey deployment, the best, full-featured platform, and measurable return on investment.
Accordingly, proponents of telehealth declare that remote technologies will widen its access, lessen the costs, and enhance health outcomes. Aside from that the benefits of telehealth that can be gained by the patients especially in rural areas are connecting providers and patients, promoting patient-centered health care, reducing patient readmission and hospitalization, enabling timely care, and reducing the costs.