Though seemingly uncomplicated, getting patients to be compliant—to follow their providers’ advice and prescribed regimens—has been a longstanding issue in the healthcare space. However, the rising prevalence of telehealth has presented new opportunities for engaging patients and promoting patient adherence.
How telehealth helps
A patient’s willingness to comply with medical recommendations from doctors and providers is often based on perceived self-benefit and potential outcomes. Telehealth helps make this outlook more positive through digital innovations that have paved the way for more efficient, convenient, and high-quality healthcare.
One of the biggest causes of patient noncompliance is a lack of understanding of why the doctor is prescribing certain treatments or medications in the first place. But with telehealth’s digital health platforms, a patient and their provider have easier access to the information they need. Minimizing the steps and time it takes to connect, telehealth tools allow doctors to more closely monitor their patients’ progress and give patients the chance to more easily receive vital education on their health and treatment.
Patients will have a harder time adhering to a provider’s recommendations if they don’t have access to the resources necessary to comply. This holds true particularly for chronic patients, patients with low mobility, and those in rural locations who may not have the means to make frequent visits for follow-ups and appointments with specialists. Telehealth platforms, such as virtual care, allow practitioners to expand their reach and give individuals greater opportunities to manage their health conditions.
Increased practice efficiency
Much of a healthcare provider’s time is spent completing tedious administrative tasks that take away from time actually treating patients. Implementing a telehealth platform can cut down and automate many of these processes in order to streamline operations, improving the patient experience and increasing the likelihood that individuals will comply with treatment plans.
In addition to expanding access to healthcare, telehealth innovations make necessary healthcare easier and more convenient for patients to access, helping maintain a patient’s engagement with their health and increasing the chances that they will follow through with professional recommendations.
- Reduced wait times
Thirty-minute wait times are not uncommon, and they can take away an individual’s time from important work or family obligations. So it’s no surprise that these wait times, coupled with the time it takes to get to and from a doctor’s office, often lead to cancellations and no-shows.
Luckily, with a telehealth platform and the ability to connect virtually with their provider, patients no longer need to sit around in the waiting room or even travel to the office in the first place. This convenience makes it easier for them to attend necessary appointments and follow a prescribed treatment plan.
- Easier scheduling
Many organizations utilize online scheduling systems, reducing the need for patients to rely on over-the-phone scheduling, which tends to come with its own wait times and is subject to standard office hours.
Most individuals are used to using online platforms, and online booking gives them the ability to schedule appointments on their own time. And with a fully integrated booking platform, providers have the opportunity to set up automated emails and reminders, helping reduce cancellations and no-shows and encouraging adherence to treatment plans.
- Quick filling of last-minute appointment openings
No matter what measures are taken, some cancellations are inevitable. When they do happen, telehealth platforms make it easier to alert patients of appointment openings. There’s also a greater chance of those openings being filled as patients can easily and quickly connect with their provider online if they’re unable to make it in person in such a short time period.
iTether: A Behavioral Telehealth Platform
iTether has been harnessing the power of telehealth to improve the lives of behavioral health patients and their providers, too. Through our innovative app, we improve connections between patients and healthcare professionals to empower an individual’s journey to recovery and give providers more tools to better support their patients. Contact us today to find out what our telehealth solutions can do for you and your patients.