So Many Changes…

It seems like a new telehealth policy or proposed piece of
legislation is in the news almost daily these days. What’s more, it appears
that the world is quickly becoming more accustomed to this new, interactive
method of delivering and receiving health care. However, not everyone is so on
board, as recent studies show that, while the general public may be more
accepting of telehealth, some health care providers are still struggling with implementation
of the new technologies. One study conducted by the American College of
Physicians (ACP), and (as Medpage Today first reported)
presented at their recent annual meeting, found “[f]itting telehealth into the daily
flow of a medical practice [as] the biggest perceived barrier to telehealth
adoption.” Humans are creatures of habit, even if those habits are “bad.”
Physicians are used to providing medical care via certain modalities. Though
they see the benefits of telehealth, they struggle to move telehealth from
theoretical benefits into actual realized best practices.

Part of the issue in making that transition is understanding
that not all patients are suited for telehealth services; thus, providers must
develop strategies to determine which patients are better suited for telehealth
and which ones are not. That can be a huge undertaking, especially when the
technology itself is new to the provider as well. The ACP study revealed
additional barriers along with daily flow integration. Many respondents are
concerned about the number of patients who will actually be able to access
telehealth technology. Others worry about the security of the technology, and
how that security affects patient privacy. Still others noted concern over the
potential for medical errors as a result of using telehealth, instead of
in-person examinations, to diagnose patients. Policies and
regulations—specifically, state licensing policies—also can put a damper on
providers’ use of telehealth.

such barriers can hamper progress, they also give opportunities to be more
creative and to ensure the product, in this case medical modalities, function
in the best way they can. The ACP study revealed some real (and familiar) challenges
to implementing telehealth. However, none of the obstacles are impossible to
overcome. Adjustments take time and patience. Already, the industry has
overcome many telehealth related obstacles. For example, some services that 20
years ago used to cost over $100,000 during a face-to-face video appointment,
patients can now receive as part of routine medical care. Success never comes
without obstacles; it’s those very same barriers that make us stronger and more
passionate. Health care providers will ether walk away from the experience
knowing why telehealth is worth all the obstacles, or seeing it creates too
many issues to be worthwhile in the long run.

Click here to read the Medpage Today article on physician implementation of telehealth.


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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !