Managed service provider

Is Telehealth through the Cloud an Option for Clinics?

January 18, 2017

Community clinics are often the only medical resources for small communities far from core populations. They are a vital link in the healthcare chain, but technological advancements in recent years can help these facilities to stay state-of-the-art. Telehealth can aid smaller healthcare institutions by allowing one-on-one care, without having to leave the clinic.

This can be very helpful in communities that have out-of-the-way residences, so the doctor can make ‘house calls’ without actually visiting the home. The best part is that this new technology is not very expensive, but still has the ability to connect doctors and patients efficiently. Managed service providers, like TOSS C3, can help clinics stay relevant both financially and clinically.

The Push for Telehealth

Telehealth is a form of video conferencing that can be used to have doctor-patient correspondence, preliminary interviews with nurses, healthcare checkups that do not require a physical face-to-face, and many other things. Some of the advantages of this technology are:

  • Reduced man hours spent with patients
  • Less stress on the patient when they do not have to leave their home
  • Better time allocation
  • Quicker patient turnarounds
  • Additional advantages – Less chance of patients bringing outside viruses into the healthcare facility, less parking used, etc.

Patients are looking for better healthcare quality with a lower price tag. This forces healthcare providers to up their game if they want to stay competitive. More people are going to the hospital, but healthcare infrastructure is not increasing to meet the demands of the patients.

This ongoing problem is adding more stress on healthcare facilities. Questions arise about staffing, upgrading technology, and how to continue to meet the needs of the patient. Telehealth solutions can enable them to provide improved healthcare at reduced costs.

According to HealthcareITNews, “the telehealth market is forecast to be worth $6.5 billion by 2020 with an estimated compound annual growth rate of 24.2 percent from a value of $2.2 billion in 2015 as the healthcare industry undergoes a fundamental transformation to value-based business from volume-based business.”

How the Cloud can Help

The cloud and telehealth were made for each other. There are four main ways the cloud helps with telemedicine.

  • Frees up IT resources
  • Security is strengthened
  • Managed software updates
  • New cloud-based technologies can be added when they become available

More information about these points are described by Becker’s Hospital Review:

Cloud-based technology frees a facility from maintaining a data center while greatly expanding its IT capabilities. Security is enhanced by enabling security resources that can share across a customer base. Cloud computing is a requirement for clinics wishing to enter the telehealth environment.

Facilities do not have to do their own software updates and upgrades with cloud-based EHRs; the managed service provider is responsible for the data and the security of the data. This allows the clinic relief from worries about hackers, viruses, or regular security updates to protect patient records.

The ever-evolving world of healthcare will be found in the cloud. Hospitals are already beginning to utilize the power and efficiency of the telehealth/cloud bond. The North American telehealth market commands the largest share of the global market, followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific.

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