Telemedicine software has many benefits for both doctors and patients. For doctors, it improves efficiency and accuracy and allows them to care for more patients. For patients, it provides convenient access to care and enables them to avoid traveling to the doctor’s office.
There are many ways that doctors can use telemedicine software to improve patient care. One way is by using the software to conduct virtual visits with patients. Virtual visits can also be used to follow up with patients after being discharged from the hospital.
Another way that doctors can use telemedicine software is by using it to consult with specialists. This can be helpful when a patient has a rare condition, or a specialist is unavailable in the area.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine uses telecommunications and digital information technologies to provide remote clinical services to patients. Telemedicine platforms allow for two-way, real-time communication between a patient and a healthcare provider or between healthcare providers. It has been used for many years in various settings, such as rural areas with limited access to healthcare providers. In recent years, there has been a surge in the use of telemedicine due to the advances in telecommunications and digital technologies. The COVID-19 pandemic also increased the use of telemedicine as people were quarantined and unable to go to the doctor.
For healthcare providers, telemedicine can improve patient outcomes by enabling them to provide care to patients in a timelier manner. Remotely checking in on a patient allows providers to reinforce treatment adherence – which can be critical to preventing unnecessary hospital visits and maintaining patient health. Additionally, it cuts down on no-shows and last-minute cancellations.
When choosing a telemedicine software for any organization dealing with patient data, the software must be HIPAA compliant. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a set of standards for protecting sensitive patient data. Any software that handles protected health information (PHI) must be HIPAA compliant.
What features should doctors consider when choosing telemedicine software?
There are many features to consider when choosing telemedicine software. Some of the more important ones include:
- The ability to schedule and conduct video visits.
- The ability to integrate with the existing EHR/practice management system
- HIPAA-compliant messaging
- A user-friendly interface
- Training and support for both doctors and patients
What options are available for telemedicine software that doctors would use?
Some of the more popular options for telemedicine software include:
Patient Portal Software
This software allows for real-time communication between a patient and a healthcare provider. It can be used for various purposes, including appointments, follow-ups, and consultations. Patients have all their essential information right at their fingertips. They can book virtual appointments at the touch of a button and view them at a glance. They can also view vitals, lab results, prescriptions, and more. You can choose what information your patients can access. They can also log in from anywhere, on any device, and quickly and easily contact their doctor with any questions.
Remote Patient Monitoring Software
Patient Remote Monitoring software allows a healthcare provider to remotely monitor a patient’s vital signs and other health data. Patient remote monitoring is sometimes used for the management of high-risk patients, like those with heart conditions. It can be used to provide care for patients with chronic conditions or those at risk for complications, such as diabetics. Patients can track their glucose levels and send the data to their doctor.
E-Prescribing software allows a healthcare provider to prescribe medications to a patient electronically. It can be used to streamline the prescription process and reduce errors.
Store-and-forward telemedicine is a method by which healthcare providers share patient medical information like lab reports, imaging studies, and other records with a physician, radiologist, or specialist at another location using a solution that has built-in, sophisticated security features to ensure patient confidentiality.
Store-and-forward telemedicine is particularly popular for diagnoses and treatment in certain specialties, including dermatology, ophthalmology, and radiology.
Patients can also use store-and-forward to send their primary care provider information about a health concern between appointments. This way, the provider can review the information and be better prepared for the next appointment.
Telemedicine software that enables store-and-forward must meet specific requirements set forth by The Joint Commission, which is the organization that accredits healthcare organizations in the United States.
The requirements are:
- Patient consent must be obtained before any images or health information is sent
- All patient identifying information must be removed from images
- The sender and receiver of the images/information must be authenticated
- The system must have a way to protect the confidentiality of the images/information
- The system must have a way to track who accesses the images/information
- There must be a way to audit the system
What are some concerns about using telemedicine software?
Some common concerns about using telemedicine equipment or software are that they may be challenging to use, patients may not have access to the right technology, or the quality of video and audio may not be good enough. However, these issues are often resolved with the help of qualified technical support. In addition, there are telehealth solutions that offer entirely browser-based platforms to be run on any device—including PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Firefox, Edge, Safari, and Opera. That means you don’t need complicated APIs to integrate applications into your system. You also don’t need to worry about keeping up with updates or your software becoming outdated, or compatibility issues.
Another common concern is that patients may feel like they are not receiving the same level of care as they would in person. However, studies have shown that patients receiving care via telemedicine generally have the same or better outcomes as those receiving in-person care.
Finally, some people worry about the privacy and security of their medical information. However, most telemedicine companies take measures to ensure that patient information is protected according to HIPAA compliance.
How much does telemedicine software cost?
The cost of telemedicine software depends on the software’s features and how many users are utilizing it. The more complex features you have, the more the cost. Generally, prices range from $25/user/month to $600/month.