Telehealth has revolutionized healthcare delivery, offering patients the convenience of virtual visits from the comfort of their homes. While the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of telehealth, its benefits extend beyond crisis response. However, a recent study from Epic Systems Corp. highlights the importance of maintaining balanced care between telehealth visits and in-person appointments for comprehensive patient care.
Advantages and Applications of Telehealth
Telehealth offers numerous advantages, including convenience, expanded access to care, and reduced exposure to infectious diseases. Patients can connect with healthcare providers easily, regardless of their physical location. Routine follow-ups, medication management, mental health consultations, and minor acute illnesses are effectively addressed through telehealth, enhancing convenience and patient satisfaction.
Despite the many benefits of telehealth, certain healthcare scenarios still necessitate in-person visits. Examples of this are, physical examinations, diagnostic tests, and procedures that require direct patient interaction cannot be fully replicated in virtual settings. In-person appointments also play a crucial role in establishing a strong doctor-patient relationship, enabling healthcare professionals to better understand patients’ needs and concerns.
Ensuring Balanced Care
To optimize patient care, balanced care is needed between telehealth visits and in-person appointments. Ensuring the strengths and limitations of each modality are taken into account. Moreover, routine follow-ups, medication management, and certain consultations are effective via telehealth. This improves convenience and reduces unnecessary exposure to pathogens. However, in cases requiring physical examinations, complex diagnoses, and surgical consultations, in-person evaluations remain essential for accurate assessments and treatment planning.
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Healthcare Dive (6 July 2023). Telehealth visits garner fewer follow-ups than in-person appointments, Epic finds. Retrieved from: https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/telehealth-visits-follow-ups-in-person-appointments-epic/685208/