What are Telehealth and Telemedicine?
Common Definitions – Telehealth
- Telehealth is a convenient way for you to gain access to care while outside a traditional healthcare setting.
- Telehealth is a promising public health tool for the following:
- Potentially significant impact on medically underserved populations through increased access
- Increasing prevalence as a recognized standard of care
- Influence on the provider-patient relationship
- Potential to save billions of dollars in healthcare expenditures
- Telehealth typically includes not only telemedicine but also other forms of telecommunication, including asynchronous or “store and forward” systems, which transfer a patient’s data or images for a physician or practitioner at another site to access at a later time. With these systems, the patient and provider do not have to be present at the same time.
- Telehealth uses telecommunications technology and other electronic data to assist with clinical healthcare services provided at a distance, which can also include providing education, administrative functions, and peer meetings.
Common Definition – Telemedicine
- Telemedicine seeks to improve a patient’s health by permitting two-way, real-time interactive communication between the patient, and the physician or practitioner at the distant site. This electronic communication means the use of interactive telecommunications equipment that includes, at a minimum, audio and video equipment… [Medicaid] does not recognize telemedicine as a distinct service.
Benefits of Telemedicine
- Expands access to care and improves health care quality, especially in rural areas.
- Provides coverage during extreme crisis periods (COVID-19/natural disasters) when clinics are forced to social distance.
- It provides basic health services via telemedicine platforms, so your frontline staff can aid more pressing issues.
- Provides flexibility for remote consultation with other providers (i.e. specialty care)
- Maintains continuity of care by linking patients and providers together in accordance with HIPAA compliance guidelines.
- It aids in establishing a more innovative approach to accessing and obtaining healthcare when hospitalization is not required.
- Live (synchronous) Video Conferencing – A two-way audio-visual link between the patient and healthcare provider
- Store-and-Forward (asynchronous) Video Conferencing – Transmission of recorded health record information to a healthcare practitioner or specialist
- Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) – The use of connected electronic tools to record personal health information and medical data. Information is stored in one
- Mobile Health (mHealth) – The transfer of public health information provided through mobile devices. Information can include, but not be limited to the following:
- General education and information
- Targeted text messaging
- Notifications regarding the nature of public health risks
Common Types of Telehealth Visits:
- Diabetes, high blood pressure
- Medication refills
- Upper respiratory infections
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Please send any resources your clinic is currently using that would be beneficial to other clinics to IAFCC and we will share them on our website. Please send all resources to Anjali Patel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
*Telehealth resource information page last updated 04/13/2020