There are two recent causes of the urgent need for technological changes to be made in health care. The nursing shortage causing difficulties with health care service and quality is of major concern to most health care facilities. Also, reimbursement changes in programs like Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies are causing increasing difficulties to practitioners and health care facilities alike. Because of these problems, having a tele-health program is becoming more and more desirable. Tele-health can save a great deal of money and time for a hospital system, physicians and most importantly the patient’s that it treats. It offers more flexibility with treating difficult diseases and even offers ways of treating the patients that live in rural locations that would otherwise have a lot of difficulty traveling to a medical facility for treatment.
Tele-health can reduce the cost of a patient’s care by more effectively and efficiently monitoring a patient’s health. Tele-health offers daily electronic house calls to the patient to check signs and symptoms of disease and retrieve vital signs. If the physician is having difficulty making an exact diagnosis, a patient can be monitored for longer periods of time so that an accurate diagnosis can be made. The program also offers the ability to monitor patients at any distance which is a unique solution for rural health care.
Hospitals and health care facilities can save a great deal of money by using a tele-health system. The savings comes from the prevention of costly hosptializations because of disease complications. It also helps to reduce the increased cost of medications from the hospitalizations and disease exacerbations. This can be a savings for the patient, insurance companies as well as the health care facilities.
Yes, technology is very expensive but, once purchased it can be updated relatively easily. The equipment pays for itself by actually reducing the costs of treating and re treating patients that have illnesses that have a history of being hard to treat. The patients that are using these systems need some education about the technology. However, the devices are relatively easy to use and can provide a great deal of information. A plus to this program is that many elderly or shut in patients feel safer because they are able to speak with someone on a daily basis.
The end result with this program is that it saves the health care system both time and money and provides a security for the patient that cannot be obtained anywhere else.