The pandemic was the catalyst, but in 2023, telehealth is a vital lifeline that we can no longer ignore
Bowling Green, KY (November 9, 2023) – When it comes to the world of health care, new innovations can improve and save lives. Few things illustrate this more directly than the impact of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are five reasons why telehealth is a vital lifeline that offers innovative solutions to health care’s age-old problems.
1. Accessibility to health care: Bridging the gap
A bipartisan congressional caucus is currently aiming to improve access to quality health care and services in rural U.S. communities. The importance of this cannot be understated, as approximately 66.3 million Americans live in rural communities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For those residing in remote areas, individuals with limited mobility, or those struggling with chronic illnesses, reaching a health care facility can be a daunting task. Oregon Democrat and founding member of the caucus, Rep. Andrea Salinas, told States Newsroom, “No one should have to travel for hours through treacherous terrain to see a doctor. But for so many in rural Oregon, this is simply reality.”
2. Enhanced efficiency and convenience
America’s traditional health care system is often associated with long wait times, both in scheduling appointments and at the doctor’s office. New telehealth practices eliminate the waiting game, giving patients the convenience of timely consultations without the hassle of travel and waiting rooms. Being able to convert routine check-ups, follow-ups, or minor health concerns into telehealth appointments streamlines the process not only for the patient, but lightens the load on the doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and the medical infrastructure.
3. The seamless telehealth experience
Telehealth ensures a seamless method of care, giving patients the ability to connect with their health care providers from the comfort of their own homes, fostering a stronger patient-doctor relationship. Consulting virtually allows doctors to monitor progress, adjust treatment plans, and provide necessary guidance without the middle ground of health care logistics. This leads to better health outcomes, reduced hospital readmissions, and overall improved patient satisfaction.
4. Breaking the stigma of mental health support
With the growing awareness about mental health issues, telehealth is playing a pivotal role in breaking the stigma associated with seeking therapy and other support. Through confidential online sessions, individuals can access therapy and counseling services without fear of judgement. The anonymity change from what can be an intimidating doctor’s office to a virtual call from home encourages more people to seek the help they need, leading to a mentally heathier society.
5. Health care cost reduction: A win-win
In addition to the four benefits listed above, telehealth contributes to a significant cost reduction in the health care sector. Minimizing the need for physical infrastructure and reducing administrative overhead allows health care providers to allocate resources more efficiently. This, in turn, leads to less of a financial burden on patients and their families and makes quality health care more affordable and accessible to a broader population.
As you can see, advancements in telehealth stand as a beacon of progress for not only the health care sector, but the digital age. Even though the pandemic lockdowns are over, this is not a time to remove the spotlight on telehealth. We must make that spotlight brighter and work together with health care providers, policymakers and patients to harness technology for the betterment of overall human health. Embracing telehealth is not just an option: it is our collective responsibility toward a brighter, healthier future.
About the Author: Grant Ahlbrand is a Communications Social Media Specialist at Connected Nation. Grant provides support to the communications team through social media outreach, editing podcasts, designing promotional graphics, and writing blogs and press releases. Grant has a bachelors in social media marketing from Western Kentucky University.