Although practices may be at differing levels of tech readiness and Meaningful Use, the possible benefits of remote healthcare are well-documented. The Los Angeles Times recently cited the large number of digital visits predicted for the near future, with hundreds of thousands expected this year alone, according to predictions from the American Telemedicine Association. Some of the consumer-facing advantages that may be attracting patients include the flexible hours, relatively low costs and the ability for a referral if necessary.
Obviously, providers have to utilize the right IT infrastructure and support systems to respond to their user demand. If many patients are demanding these services, the results could overwhelm unprepared administrators and doctors. Interestingly enough, patient monitoring seems to be growing and could account for $46 billion within the next two years.
That's what a press release from MarketResearch.com recently said, announcing the findings of the whitepaper "Healthcare IT: Patient Monitoring and Telemedicine." The statement outlines some of the possible benefits from remote monitoring, including more than $10 billion in annual savings for patients with congestive heart failure.
"It is becoming more common for patients to reach out to online medical consultants, such as those offered by Massachusetts General Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, or other private businesses," the source says. "However, there are significant barriers for implementation of these types of services, including initial cost, technological incompatibility, privacy and security issues, and education of healthcare professionals as consultants."
Having a well-defined set of goals can make accomplishing new systems changes less daunting.
The advantages of remotes services may be more visible after an operational assessment conducted by a physician consultant. Having a well-defined set of goals can make accomplishing new systems changes less daunting.