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The Emergence of Telehealth Teleconferencing: Benefits, Uses, and Concerns
Related Products: KioCall
New technologies can help people to more easily manage their healthcare. Healthcare providers are utilizing new technologies to reduce costs and provide more efficient access to medical services, care, and information. Teleconferencing is one such technology that is used to improve care and patient outcomes.Telehealth Technology Provides Access to Healthcare
Doctors may wish to care for people who do not have access to more metropolitan and research-oriented institutions and facilities. Individuals in rural areas deserve the same care that people in more densely populated areas take for granted. Skilled nursing facilities, senior housing, and nursing homes often serve patients who need more assistance or expertise than is currently available to them.
Teleconferencing can be a great method for taking care of elderly and infirm patients who are less mobile and cover a sparsely populated geographic area. For the patients in the community who don't have specialists in their immediate vicinity, healthcare communication technology could be a vital lifeline to this population. Imagine going to a local doctor’s office and teleconferencing with a specialist located in a city 60 miles away rather than the wear and tear on a person traveling multiple hours each week to consult with a specialist.
Video conferencing software provides the opportunity to bring the expertise of a healthcare professional (including specialists) into a patient's home or a peripheral facility. Even with a plethora of quality doctors from which to choose, specialists for a particular field may be prevalent in a specific geographic location. Conversely, there may be a lack of experts in another geographic location. In such a situation, a local MD could send a scan to a specialist to examine. The telemedicine transaction would be complete when the specialist sends his or her review back to the doctor, either via a video consultation or a written response. By providing video conferencing options, patients can obtain expert examination and consultation without a costly, time consuming, and physically taxing excursion. Video conferencing solutions are a great way to combat the limited number of specialists available. These telehealth advances help foster improved access to care at the lowest possible cost to the healthcare system.
Telemedicine is also becoming prevalent due to a shortage in mental health providers. Once admitted for treatment, some patients experience a longer than acceptable wait time for services. Those patients in most critical need may find themselves in the ER for psychiatric treatment but may ultimately have to wait for a psychiatric bed to become available. In these most pressing situations, a psychiatric evaluation could be done using modern online video conferencing software. Psychiatrists can evaluate the psychological health of a patient using secure video conferencing kiosks set up in the emergency room. The behavioral health treatment can also be started immediately.
While physical health and mental health providers rarely share offices, the ability to seek mental health assistance without leaving a physician’s office may help to reduce the stigma still associated with seeking mental health treatment. Web conferencing appointments could allow patients to visit a physician’s office to obtain a physical checkup, adding a session with a mental health professional without actually visiting an office specializing in mental health. The video sessions could be done via a completely secure layer like a face to face session without physical, in person contact. Patients benefit from combining physical care with mental care, as research shows that patients heal faster when underlying mental health issues are treated.
With the use of video conferencing and other telehealth solutions, patients do not need to be in the same location as their doctor or specialist to receive care. Patients also do not need to play the waiting room game of trying to see their doctor at an appointed time. Transportation ceases to become an issue when remote video technology is used to conduct a visit. These benefits are especially critical for low-income patients and the elderly who find it difficult to visit multiple doctor offices or specialists, and hourly workers who cannot afford to take time off of work to travel to -and wait for - an appointment.
It's still early in the distance health industry, but the good news is that there are already a variety of technologies in use and many options and applications for utilizing secure online video conferencing kiosks to service patients.
Patient information security is a critical component of video conferencing for medical purposes. Public facing devices (also known as kiosks), must have lock down software to allow video conferencing and other functions to work in a controlled and secured environment. Malicious or benign access to patient information must be restricted above all else. The kiosks must also be reliable and set to function consistently and without issue, so as to be an asset to the office rather than additional cause for frustration and delay.
A kiosk set for use in a doctor’s office may provide video conferencing access to accounts payable, a scheduling representative, lab technicians, and more. By using kiosk software to set the kiosk to perform a variety of functions (including video conferencing), the self-service devices become more useful, valuable, reliable, and secure.
Using KioWare kiosk software and KioCall Video Conferencing, a kiosk can be easily set up to utilize web-based video conferencing while also allowing customers to check online accounts, pay bills, and find information. It’s extremely affordable and can be a valuable asset for doctor’s offices, hospitals, rehab facilities, long term care facilities, satellite services, labs, and more. Optimize doctor time by limiting travel between offices, and optimize patient satisfaction by providing additional services at the touch of a button.
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