The Role of Telehealth Tech in Patient Engagement Strategies
Source: Patient Engagement HIT • Date December 14, 2017
Telehealth helps diversify patient access to care options and supplements patient engagement strategies.
More healthcare organizations have been tapping telehealth technology to connect with their patients, especially the disparately located ones. Telehealth plays a significant role in supporting patient engagement strategies. By offering more convenient care access options, telehealth technology is an important part of the patient’s relationship with healthcare.
Here’s how telehealth technology can support patient engagement strategies by enhancing patient access to care.
Creating Diverse Patient Care Access Options
Telehealth has given patient in disparate locations the ability to connect with providers who are located an extraordinary distance away.
There are various technologies that connect patients with healthcare providers from the comfort of their own home or anywhere when they are mobile. Most of the time, the patient’s only way of engaging with their healthcare providers is during their visit. Because visits are usually far in between, the patient may have questions that arise before or after the visit left unanswered. Telehealth helps bridge the gap of those visits to continue patient engagement.
Offering Convenient Patient Access to Care
The end-goal to offering more access options is to make healthcare access more convenient for patients and providers alike. For those patients accessing telehealth because they live in remote areas of the country, telehealth helps patients overcome travel time and travel cost barriers and allow the providers to conduct a low-risk follow-up on their patients without having them come in the doctor’s office.
A March 2017 report from the University of California Davis found that access to telehealth produced about $100 in travel time cost savings per patient per year. In total, telehealth reduced travel distances by 5 million miles across the entire study population, and resulted in $3 million saved in travel costs over a nine-year period.
Telehealth can also support patients living in the suburbs or metropolitan areas. Although these patients do not experience the geographic barriers to medical care, telehealth can still make it easier for patient to receive care.
Making it easier for patients to access care is a core aspect of patient engagement. Healthcare organizations, which are increasingly facing more empowered healthcare consumers looking for a convenient and satisfactory care option, are turning to telehealth to help patients receive care in the way patients want.
As support for telehealth continues to grow, organization are going to see enhanced patient engagement strategies. Organizations may see better wellness and engagement on the part of patients who are now able to access care when it is convenient for them.