2019 is here and technology is continually getting better. People are able to connect quicker and better than ever, so why not with their physicians?
Telehealth, unlike telemedicine, incorporates a broader scope of health care services remotely as well as non-clinical services like provider training, administrative meetings and continuing education. Telemedicine is strictly remote clinical services.
Patients continue to be more involved in their health outcomes by utilizing technology that is already part of their daily lives. With advancements in smartphone apps, activity trackers, automated reminders and blood glucose monitors allowing for better “collect and transmit” health information and monitoring of chronic conditions. There are four methods that make up telehealth, they include live video (synchronous), store and forward (SFT), remote patient monitoring (RPM), and mobile health (mHealth).
The American Medical Association, or AMA, has created the STEPS Forward module to help practices integrate this into their care plan. This module contains four steps to adopt telemedicine into your practice:
- Familiarize yourself with federal and state laws and regulations.
- Identify a service model that best meets your goals and the needs of your patients.
- Determine the technology and support needed while following all applicable privacy laws.
- Understand appropriate practice guidelines to initiate a telemedicine service model.