Hybrid Telehealth: The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically altered all aspects of our lives. Work, education, socializing, travel- everything has seen a dramatic change and may never be back to square one. Healthcare is no exception. It has changed how outpatient care is delivered in health care practices. To subside the risk of transmitting the virus to either patients or health care staff, experts have decided to convert in-person visits to telemedicine visits. The outbreak of the pandemic has left us no choice but to turn up to digital innovations such as the enablement of remote monitoring, virtual consultations, e-visits, etc. While these telehealth options proved to be a great support during the crisis, the traditional in-person visits & consultation remained indispensable. And the reason why hybrid telehealth is being adopted immensely in the healthcare industry. Hybrid telehealth refers to the integration of care options that involve both in-person care as well as virtual consultation services. People are realizing the importance of this pair of treatments for successful care management. The incorporation of telehealth is already shaping our experience, behavior, and expectations in lasting ways. Telehealth has enabled access to care specialists (who would otherwise be unavailable), offers convenience & removes barriers such as time off work, child care. travel time etc.

Telehealth promotes Accessibility - Hybrid Telehealth

Patients want to leverage digital options, mainly, for administrative healthcare tasks, such as appointment scheduling, inquiring about physician's availability, check out the prices for treatments or tests, appointment reminders, etc. Moreover, patients turn to telehealth services for the post-appointment follow-up status that they get through patient portals, in-app updates, emails, or text messages. Another advantage that telehealth services offer is access to care in a short span of time. The present Gen-Z and the next generation might as well expect immediate care access while the older generations may follow the same routine as they did all these days. With the telehealth virtual visit trend, patients have the freedom to choose the care provider from the pool of options and conveniently access care at a preferred time. There are varied ways in which telehealth services are being offered for patients at their convenience. For instance,

1. Synchronous Virtual Visits:

Here the doctor and patient communicate in real-time over video or phone call or even live chat sometimes.

2. Asynchronous Virtual Visits:

This is when health vitals are shared in image or message format. This includes file transfers, text messaging, forms, or surveys.

3. Digital Clinical Encounters:

This includes a virtual health assistant, chatbot.

4. Remote Monitoring: Hybrid Telehealth

This is when the patient shares information such as sugar levels, blood pressure, etc. One can use third-party medical devices such as Medical service integration, consumer device integration, endpoint devices. Depending upon clinical and patient requirements, telehealth services are leveraged. Telehealth software solutions can be developed with numerous features, depending upon the kind of services that a provider wants to offer his end-users. It can offer appointment booking or reminders, virtual visits through video calls or chats, etc.

In-person visit ensures Trust and Equity

There's no doubt that the pandemic has surged the adoption of telehealth services worldwide. Patients and doctors, who were skeptical about remote monitoring and virtual consultation have now found greater satisfaction in them. However, as the saying goes on 'Old habits never die. In the same way, people might soon go back to in-person consultation as it promotes trust in the care services being provided. Also, patients would still want to continue with virtual consultations. And may want to balance both online and in-person care righteously, as the blend of both offers assistance in various administrative tasks and provides emergency care on time, whenever required. Also, in-person consultation helps to deal with the limitations of telehealth services. For instance, it's not easy to visit a physician remotely for all kinds of issues. Some of them strictly require scans and blood tests, which might only be possible with an in-person visit. Additionally, in-person visits offer a sense of trust when the patients have one-on-one conversations with the physicians in real-time. And that's also why there are still a set of demographics who prioritize access to treatment over in-person visits.

Hybrid Telehealth: The New Future of Healthcare

Both in-person consultations and telehealth services have their own perks and downfalls. For providers to serve their patients, it is important to consider multiple strategies that help them maintain the right balance between the two different care services. While telehealth services yield high patient satisfaction, there are issues that can only be dealt with when the patient is available for an in-person consultation. Striking the right equilibrium between both and being able to create a hybrid telehealth sector can be a result-driven solution in the long run. Now that we've cleared the air of how hybrid telehealth will be in the future, it's important for health service providers to implement this to achieve success in their field. If you're running a stable medical consultancy, it's high time you give your business new heights by expanding it online. At the same time, if you have got a hybrid telehealth environment in place, then make sure that you're able to maintain a stable balance between the two. You can always connect with our tech experts to build an online application for your services. Read More: WHAT ARE TELEHEALTH APPS AND ITS FEATURES?