Telehealth patient experience depends on a healthy internet connection

Virtual medicine, including telehealth, started to take hold in healthcare organizations long before 2020, but its use was limited by state regulations, insurance rules, and preference to specific medical specialties and situations.

Technology was also a limiting factor until recently. Telehealth services surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, to support social distancing for the duration of the public health emergency. Post-COVID, telehealth remains popular, as patients, practitioners, and healthcare organizations appreciate the convenience and cost-effectiveness of remote care. In 2022, the U.S. market for telehealth services grew to more than $35 billion and it is expected to continue expanding rapidly.* 

There is no sound with this video.

While this model of remote patient care offers many benefits, it also creates new technology challenges for the IT pros who deal with choppy and dropped calls that degrade the patient-provider experience. 

Telehealth services are particularly challenging for IT pros because the real-time interactions between providers and patients depend on a secure, flawless internet connection. The connecting circuits are not controlled by the HCO’s IT group directly, but IT is nevertheless responsible for maintaining a stable connection with 100% uptime to support telehealth effectively.  

Telehealth – and connectivity – fill many essential roles in the modern healthcare organization: 

Remote consultations  

Pregnant woman at home in telehealth call with doctor on a laptopHomebound patients rely on telehealth visits and many others prefer the convenience of these remote consultations with healthcare providers. However, any disruption, such as frozen or jittery images or poor sound quality, can interfere with important discussions about symptoms, diagnoses, and proposed treatments. 

Access to medical specialists 

Specialized medical expertise can be unavailable locally, especially in rural or underserved regions. Telehealth can bridge this gap by connecting patients with distant medical specialists. Reliable internet connectivity ensures smooth communication so patients and doctors can share medical records, diagnostic images, and other essential information.  

Health information exchange

Group of doctors sitting at table and looking at big screen display of an online meeting with colleaguesPatients benefit from coordination among the healthcare professionals on their care team. Video conferencing tools make collaboration more effective, as providers can share observations, test results, and treatment choices interactively across different healthcare organizations and geographic locations. A smooth, seamless internet connection supports these vital interactions and preserves the practitioners’ valuable time. 

Online communities

Virtual support groups and other online communities give healthcare providers more ways to connect with their patients and offer guidance and motivation. These interactions may be conducted through interactive or asynchronous chat as well as video conferencing.  

In summary, internet connectivity is a critical component that makes telehealth possible. Telehealth – and network health – support effective and efficient delivery of services to patients regardless of their location or personal mobility.  

Bigleaf Networks provides end-to-end optimization to maintain flawless operation of telehealth and all internet- and cloud-enabled medical technologies.

Schedule a demo to learn how Bigleaf helps healthcare organizations to succeed in the cloud.

 

* Global Market Insights, “U.S. Telemedicine Market.”

Related Posts