2. It Enables Radiologists to Read from Anywhere
There’s growing evidence that COVID-19 may forever change how radiologists work, as many are now using digital technologies to work from home. Such partnerships already were becoming more common in order to serve rural and international patients, Diagnostic Imaging reports.
Still, the pandemic could be a wake-up call for urban hospitals and practices that may have been hesitant to allow radiologists to work remotely, according to a blog post by Dr. Barry Julius, a physician in nuclear medicine at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J., recently quoted in Radiology Business.
READ MORE: Learn about healthcare technologies aiding in the fight against COVID-19.
Julius predicts a “sea change” in the field, with more universal teleradiology adoption across practices and hospitals after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, adding that “the field of radiology will never be quite the same.”
3. It Increases Healthcare Access in Senior Living Communities
Telemedicine can boost convenience, improve care and disease management, and reduce hospitalization rates for high-risk adults in senior housing communities, according to McKnight’s Senior Living.
In mid-March, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services temporarily expanded telehealth services to include all Medicare beneficiaries. Under the expansion, those living in homes and healthcare settings outside of rural areas can now use telehealth services for office visits, preventive health screenings and mental health services.
“Any expansion of telehealth services is a very good thing,” Kari Olson, chief innovation and technology officer for senior living provider Front Porch, told Senior Housing News. “Especially during this time when we need folks to stay home, and in particular, to safeguard people over 65 as well as other high-risk individuals.”
A proposed bipartisan bill, the Reducing Unnecessary Senior Hospitalization Act, would permanently expand telemedicine to include more Medicare patients.
4. It Helps Conserve Supplies and Bed Space
Telehealth has reduced the demand for supplies and hospital beds by keeping low-risk patients at home, helping some medical systems from becoming overwhelmed.
It also can help within a care delivery setting. At Vanderbilt University Medical Center, clinicians may reach admitted patients via Zoom and Apple iPad devices “to limit exposure and not use up protective equipment just for a conversation,” Dr. Neal Patel, the organization’s CIO for health IT, noted in a roundtable Q&A with HealthTech.