Through the recent pandemic, many of us have been exposed to telehealth. But telehealth has been in use for a few years and continues to become more popular.

By extending healthcare through video and audio, providers can reach those in rural areas, especially during the pandemic and now beyond.

Why Telehealth?

Offering a telehealth technology platform for patients can help providers connect with once unreachable patients. There is no need for them to drive far to receive healthcare. With live audio and video, patients can meet with their providers remotely in the comfort of their own home.

Have you experienced telehealth during the pandemic? I personally have and I really enjoyed it. I actually liked it better than having to go to the doctor’s office. As I felt like I wasn’t rushed, yet didn’t have to wait forever to speak with my provider. For some reason, I felt more comfortable opening up to my provider and asking questions.

The Benefits of Switching to Telehealth

The benefits of switching to telehealth are endless. The biggest benefit right now? With no in-person contact, it will limit the spread of germs. Especially during this pandemic, some illnesses are very contagious and can easily spread, but still need to offer alternatives to be able to help and care for patients.  

Telehealth can be used to consult and diagnose symptoms, conduct routine checkups, and deliver test results. By doctors paying attention to the sounds of the patient’s voice, how they cough, or if they are having trouble breathing, they can effectively diagnose a patient.

Since many health facilities had to cancel or postpone regular check-ups, minor sick appointments, and prescription renewals, telehealth has come to the rescue to be able to still offer patients these services, without them having to come into the office.

How Telehealth Helps Rural America

Did you know that rural America has higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer compared to those in urban areas?

There is always the risk of falling behind in routine care with healthcare available nearby, which could cause their health to go downhill fast. With the inability to go to a facility, telehealth can keep up with a patient’s exercise routine, medications, and be able to check up on them to offer tips for a healthy lifestyle.  

What About Those With No Internet Access?

Nearly 25 percent of those living in a rural area have a lack of internet access, which seems like an issue for those trying to use telehealth. Especially those with no smartphones or laptops to access telehealth portals.

There is an alternative. Even though patients will still need to make the drive, they can drive to the closest healthcare facility and be able to have a telehealth appointment in the parking lot. A staff member will deliver what is needed to conduct the appointment, safely. This way, the patient doesn’t need to get out of the car. This is why providers should think about expanding their WI-FI service to their parking lot for efficient coverage.

It is never a good thing when patients are unable to receive proper health care. But with the advancement in telehealth, those needing health care services can receive it!

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