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Telehealth To Enlarge Access – During the pandemic, there is a need to change the way medical care is delivered to reduce personnel exposure to sick people, preserve personal protective equipment (PPE), and minimize the impact of the sudden increase in the numeral of patients in hospitals. Establishments. Healthcare systems must adjust the way they triage, assess, and care for patients, using methods that do not rely on face-to-face services. Telehealth services help provide needed care to patients while minimizing the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that reasons COVID-19, to healthcare personnel (HCP). its acronym in English) and patients.
Although telehealth technology and its use are not new, its widespread adoption by healthcare personnel and patients beyond simple telephone correspondence has remained relatively slow. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, trends reflected a somewhat increased interest in using telehealth services by healthcare personnel and patients. However, current policies have reduced barriers to access to telehealth during this pandemic and have promoted its use in providing primary care for acute and chronic patients and maintenance with specialists. 6Many professional medical associations endorse telehealth services and guide medical practice in this changing landscape. Telehealth can also improve health outcomes for patients.
Various telehealth modalities allow healthcare personnel and patients to connect through technology to provide and receive healthcare:
Synchronous mode. It comprises real-time interaction by phone, or live audio and video, usually with a patient using a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
In some cases, another healthcare staff member (for example, a nurse, physician assistant) physically present with the patient uses peripheral medical equipment (for example, stethoscopes, otoscopes, digital ultrasounds). In contrast, the medical provider in charge of the consultation conducts a remote assessment.
Asynchronous mode. It comprises “store and relay” technology in which messages, images or data are collected at a specific time and then interpreted or responded to later. Patient portals facilitate this kind of communication between provider and patient through the secure exchange of messages.
Remote monitoring of the patient. It enables direct transmission of a patient’s clinical measurements from a distant location (may or may not be real-time) to the healthcare provider.
Benefits And Possible Uses Of Telehealth
During this pandemic, telehealth services facilitate mitigation strategies for public health by increasing social distancing. These services can remain a safer option for healthcare personnel and patients by reducing potential infectious exposures. They can also ease the pressure on healthcare systems by minimizing the sudden increase in patient demand at facilities and reducing PPE usage by healthcare providers.
Maintaining maintenance continuity to the extent possible avoids additional negative consequences from delayed preventive, prolonged, or routine care. Remote access to health care services can increase medically or socially vulnerable people or those who do not have easy access to providers. Additionally, remote access helps preserve the relationship between patient and provider when in-person consultation is neither practical nor feasible. Telehealth services can remain used for the following:
Screen patients who may consume symptoms of COVID-19 and refer as appropriate.
Provide low-risk urgent care for conditions other than COVID-19, identify those who may need additional medical consultation or evaluation, and mention as appropriate.
Access primary care providers and specialists, counting mental and behavioural health, for chronic conditions and medication management.
Provide guidance and support to patients to manage chronic conditions, including weight management and nutritional therapy.
Participate in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and additional modalities, for instance, a hybrid method to in-person care to achieve optimal health.
Monitor clinical signs of certain chronic conditions (e.g., blood pressure, blood glucose, other remote assessments).
Participate in the case management of patients who have difficulties accessing care (for example, those residing in very rural settings, the elderly, people with limited mobility)
Follow up with patients after hospitalization.
Provide advanced care planning and advisory services to patients and caregivers to document preferences in the event of a life-threatening medical event or crisis.Provide non-urgent care to residents of long-term care facilities.Provide education and exercise to health care personnel through consultations (for hospitalization or outpatient treatment) among professional colleagues that are not available locally. Especially in rural areas.
Strategies To Increase Acceptance Of Telehealth
Promote and optimize the use of telehealth facilities for the safety of healthcare personnel and . Patients while employing the Framework for healthcare systems providing non-COVID-19 clinical care to determine when it is adequate in-person care. Include options for language interpretation services, as needed.
Contact insurers or payers to understand the availability of covered telehealth, telemedicine, or nurse advice line services.
Employ methods for tale trying to assess and care for all patients and reduce the volume of people seeking care in facilities. Especially during periods of high transmission of contagious diseases such as COVID-19.
Provide services to reach patients with technology and connectivity limitations. And offer flexibility in platforms that can remain used for video consultations or non-video options, where possible.
Precautions Regarding Telehealth Services
Understand separate federal and state regulations and restrictions, interim directives and mandates, and expiration dates.
Monitor updated regulatory measures for healthcare systems and personnel.
Regional systems serving multiple states should pay particular attention to individual state requirements.
Healthcare personnel must track eligibility criteria based on their specific profession.
Stay informed about announcements from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) regarding HIPAA and COVID-19external icon.
Train providers and operate on policies, practices, and protocols employing telehealth services. Such as appointment scheduling. Documentation and billing, speciality care referral processes, urgent and emergency care, laboratory, pharmacy prescriptions, medical instruments and follow-up consultations.
Explore the use of telehealth facilities in all parts of the healthcare delivery system. Such as FQHCs (Federally Qualified Health Centers)external icon, communal medical centres, pharmacies and school health centres external icon.
Possible Limitations Of Telehealth
The challenges of cross-state licensing and other regulatory issues can vary by state.
Situations in which in-person consultations are more appropriate due to urgency. Underlying conditions, or inability to perform a proper physical examination.
The need to address sensitive issues, especially if the patient is uncomfortable or concerned about privacy.
Limited access to technological devices (e.g. smartphone, tablet, computer) necessary for a telehealth consultation or connectivity issues.
The level of comfort with technology for healthcare personnel and patients.
The cultural acceptance of conducting virtual consultations rather than face-to-face consultations by healthcare personnel and patients.
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