Telehealth Vs Virtual Care: The Real Difference
The healthcare industry is emerging with new trends as the facilities are eagerly looking for ways to increase quality healthcare access while reducing the overall healthcare cost. Technological innovations like telehealth platforms are making the long term process easier for healthcare professionals to communicate with their patients.
With the help of video visits, patients can now connect with their healthcare providers from their comfort zone. As the trending terms, telehealth and virtual care are taking the healthcare industry to the next step, understanding the difference between them and how they relate with each other is very important to achieve successful results.
What Is Virtual Care?
Virtual care is a part of Telehealth, which alludes to the numerous ways medical services suppliers connect with their patients distantly. It is the utilization of mobile phones and other portable digital technologies to deliver quality care. Through portable applications and easy-to-understand sites, healthcare suppliers and insurance providers can arrive at their patients using a more advantageous medium. While additionally offering types of assistance or care to the individuals who may don’t have time to attend an in-office appointment.
A virtual visit can be a video meeting between a specialist and a patient at home. It could imply that a patient can associate with an offsite clinical expert using a superior quality meeting hookup at their nearby facility, rather than making a trip to another city. It can likewise allow patients to all the more promptly find qualified second opinions from specialists online.
Virtual healthcare additionally better empowers experts to screen circumstances or methodology from distant areas. Patient observing at home has additionally been demonstrated to help deal with patients with chronic conditions. This may include diabetes and hypertension, where rehospitalizations occur due to the lack of communications about the patient’s health condition.
This may incorporate checking in after an in-person visit, observing vitals after a medical procedure, or reacting to any inquiries regarding their diagnosis, condition, or therapy plan. The term virtual care is a method of discussing the methods in which patients and specialists can utilize digital tools to connect in real-time.
The Use Of Telehealth
The healthcare providers may utilize telehealth platforms like live video, audio, or secure healthcare messaging system to address a patient's concern and analyze their condition distantly. This may incorporate offering clinical guidance, or recommending them to nearby facilities. Significantly more energizing is the rise of telemedicine applications, which give patients admittance to mind directly from their mobile phones or tablets.
Treating certain conditions distantly can be challenging. Telemedicine is frequently used to treat normal ailments, oversee persistent conditions, or give expert telehealth services. If a patient is managing a new or serious condition, the healthcare specialists may encourage them to look for face-to-face clinical consideration.
RELATED: How Telehealth Benefits Chronic Pain Patients During COVID-19?
How Virtual Care Relates To Telehealth?
Not to be confused with telehealth, “virtual care” is a broader concept that may include a single telehealth appointment, but also includes everything else surrounding it – from preparing patients ahead of their appointment, to coordinating follow-up actions – ensuring the continuity of the patient’s care.
Take, for example, the ancillary services that are necessary components of the patient’s care plan. Diagnostic imaging, lab tests, or physical therapy, for instance, are common next steps following a patient visit. When a patient sees their doctor in person, coordinating these ancillary services is easy – they may be simply directed to the lab on the next floor down, or referred to a physical therapist on the hospital campus.
But what happens when a patient visits their doctor via video? Not only is there now additional coordination that the patient must navigate on their own, but there are negative effects for the provider as well. Health systems tend to prefer in-person visits to telehealth visits because even if they are reimbursed the same for the visit, they potentially lose revenue for ancillary services.
Virtual care aims to solve this challenge, by coordinating the full care experience beyond the initial visit. Through a mix of virtual communication, assessment, triage, screening, instruction, check-in, and monitoring, virtual care models guide patients autonomously along their care journey – wherever they are – while simultaneously coordinating nurses and administrators around patient care plans.
The impact of COVID-19 has changed the way how healthcare industry thinks about care delivery. As healthcare providers and patients are started shifting towards the digital tools to access care remotely, everyone should be aware of these terms and how they relate to each other. So, a very good opportunity to stay competitive is to leverage the best telehealth software to deliver a personalized virtual care experience to the right patients at the right time.
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