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Telehealth Adoption in Your Healthcare Field

Posted by Chessie Skates on Mar 27, 2013 3:27:00 PM

When looking to adopt a telehealth program for a hospital or clinic, there are many choices in each of the necessary components: equipment, service, and technology. What options each organization chooses should be based off of their needs and their existing and future role. The best way to do this is with a “telehealth needs assessment” which will take into consideration the organizations ability to meet changing demographics.

The key to selecting the telehealth solution that is the best for you is choosing options that are scalable, interoperable, and expandable. This is important because with a scalable and expandable system, you are able to build up from where you start. Start small with an investment, and as adoption becomes more and more common, you can add new components to it. With a system that is interoperable, you will be able to use this with other Polycom or Cisco products and also allow them to work well with Microsoft Lync, Google Talk and FaceTime. This enables anyone calling in from any device to work and makes you flexible and accommodating. It is also important to build upon what you already have. Perhaps your organization already uses Microsoft Lync- this is an excellent stepping stone to building upon more and more video conferencing services.

The benefits of using telehealth resources are numerable. The two-way video link establishes face-to-face interaction between patients, doctors, specialists and healthcare professionals. Without having to travel miles and miles for a wound injury, patients are able to see a specialist from their local doctors office or hospital.

A few additional solutions to consider are the Store & Forward technologies, which captures a digital image, audio, video and data, stores it, and can be transmitted, reviewed and sent back with notes, opinions, and next steps. Remote Monitoring uses at-home sensor based surveillance tools to monitor vitals sites (blood pressure, glucose, weight, temperature, heart rate, etc.) and transmit these results to a distance location for review. Often, elderly and ill patients have a very difficult time visiting the doctor’s office just to get their vital signs checked. Sometimes the travel and stress can make their illness worse. These home-monitoring solutions are an excellent option for those in a similar situation.

Telehealth gives healthcare professionals the tools they need to provide on-going patient care, monitor cost control, decrease medical errors, increase communications, and reduce readmission rates.

Topics: Telehealth, telemedicine, Healthcare


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