Illness, pain, and injury know no boundaries; they can affect anyone at any time.Unfortunately, the scope of healthcare services does not always match its demand. However, the rise of new technology and virtual health solutions makes it much easier for providers to offer accessible, effective care.
What is Virtual Healthcare? What Does it Mean?
Virtual healthcare is a broad term that describes a range of healthcare services, and they all have one thing in common: they’re provided through digital channels.
The most common virtual healthcare service is telehealth or telemedicine. Nevertheless, other solutions and forms of care, such as remote patient monitoring, can also be categorized under the umbrella of virtual health services.
What is a virtual nurse?
A virtual nurse is a certified/licensed professional who provides care online or uses virtual tools to conduct some of their services. They are often part of a larger virtual health team.
What is a virtual health team?
As the name implies, a virtual health team is a group of people working together to provide healthcare digitally. The team might include several providers from the same practice or staff and doctors from different locations.
What is a virtual provider?
Anyone who offers virtual health services in addition to office-based services might call themselves a virtual provider. It is also possible for virtual providers to conduct all of their services online.
However, it’s also possible for virtual providers to conduct all of their services online.
How is Virtual Healthcare Different from Telehealth?
Telehealth is one kind of virtual healthcare, but the two are different. Virtual healthcare is an umbrella term. It captures anything related to health pursued digitally, whether it’s an appointment, exam, therapy session, or something else entirely. However, telehealth is more focused on providing clinical healthcare services remotely.
This subtle difference may not seem like much, but equating virtual health with telehealth does each a disservice. Virtual health is more expansive and flexible; it utilizes a wider range of technology to achieve its goals. Some virtual health technology is even experimenting with using augmented realities to completely simulate the in-person visit experience!
But that’s not to say that telehealth isn’t a valuable tool in its own right. Its focus on remotely conducting traditional healthcare services is key in making care available to all.
What Are Some Examples of Virtual Health Services?
There are too many possibilities for virtual health services to list at once, but a few main examples stand out, including:
- Remote Patient Monitoring: This involves using technological devices like blood pressure monitors, pulse monitors, etc., to track symptoms in real time.
Access to Digital Health Platforms: Patients can log into a digital health portal or platform and access data like test results, visit summaries, and vitals.
Online Therapy: Mental health services like therapy can be conducted via video calls, text messages, or phone.
- E-Prescription Services: These services screen patients and prescribe medications as needed.
Understanding the Benefits of Virtual Healthcare
Despite the distance it relies on, virtual health technology brings patients and providers together. The benefits of virtual health services positively affect all involved.
Virtual care doesn’t acknowledge geographical barriers; it dismantles them. Patients, regardless of their location, can access quality healthcare services when they need them most. This advantage is particularly beneficial for those living in remote areas or with limited mobility.
Quality and Frequency of Care
More frequent and easier communication between providers and patients helps boost engagement and treatment outcomes. Likewise, continuously monitoring patients with chronic conditions helps providers be proactive in their patients’ care programs.
The more empowered and engaged patients feel, the more likely they are to have a beneficial treatment experience. Virtual health services make keeping up with treatment easy and even fun.
Reduced Financial Burdens
Fewer in-person services mean lower overhead and maintenance costs for providers. Plus, patients can save money by avoiding commutes to in-person appointments (or juggling obstacles such as childcare coverage or time off work).
Moreover, timely and preventative care helps reduce the number of hospital or emergency room visits patients face, further helping them save money on healthcare.
How Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Helps Virtual Healthcare Providers
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) may only be one part of virtual health, but it’s one of the most significant. RPM helps providers by giving them access to real-time health data and changes. There’s no need to wait for patients to realize their needs are dire – providers can be proactive based on the collected health data and step in before symptoms worsen and potentially result in a trip to the ER.
If you are interested in bringing virtual healthcare to your practice, do not overlook the value of RPM. In addition to making providers’ lives easier, RPM gives patients a window to understand their health and can directly improve health outcomes. And you do not have to figure out how to make RPM a reality alone, either.
CoachCare is your top choice for RPM devices and virtual health services that your patients deserve. Let us help you manage challenges like billing, training, and patient support so that you can successfully bring virtual care to life. Reach out today to learn more.