Implementing Telehealth In Primary Care: Benefits, Challenges, and Future (2021)

January 20th, 2021 - By Andrew Fearnley

Primary care telehealth

Overview

Primary care faces numerous challenges that negatively impact physicians and patients alike.

Experts repeatedly pointed out these issues:

  • Determining the payment for primary care services based on the difficulty of their mastery
  • The difference in payment between cognitive and procedural care
  • Reducing the scope of practice for primary care physicians

In this article, we will see how telehealth for primary care may contribute to solving these issues and the correct ways of implementing telehealth.

Telehealth for primary care

While telehealth may not solve the structural issues seen within the primary care practice, it may increase access to healthcare and reduce burnouts.

Implementing telehealth is safe, convenient, and low risk. It also saves time and eliminates the risk of patients being seen when visiting the doctor for a sensitive issue.

Obviously, telehealth will not replace regular in-person visits any time soon. However, alleviating some of the pressure on primary care offices will allow doctors to focus more on in-person visits, which eventually leads to better patient outcomes.

Learn more about how telemedicine has improved patient care

The challenges of implementing telehealth in primary care

The most notable challenge that faces telehealth is the transition. 

You see, not all practice and patients have the means to do this transition without compromising patient care. 

While some primary care practices opted for telephone visits to introduce telehealth, it is not sufficient since the patient cannot see his/her physician and vice versa.

When using audiovisual technologies, patients and their doctors may face difficulties with the used technology. Moreover, several areas around the United States lack the necessary infrastructure to transmit video calls without technical issues. 

These problems are surmountable with the help of technical experts; however, many smaller practices cannot afford this financial burden. Checkout telehealth implementation guide here

The future of telehealth for primary care

While the abrupt rise in telehealth popularity might be a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, this technology is here to stay.

For this reason, primary care physicians should start familiarizing themselves with telehealth and the proper ways to utilize it within their practice. This way, you will avoid being left behind.

With that said, it is also important to address the issues that stem from telehealth to optimize patient care and prevent the misuse of this technology.

One crucial aspect to keep in mind before implementing telehealth is to ensure that it’s compliant with HIPAA. PrognoCIS offers fully integrated HIPAA compliant telemedicine software click here

Learn more about the HIPAA requirements for telehealth

Takeaway message

Telehealth for primary care can revolutionize the way patients receive medical management. However, we first need to address the challenges in the way before making a sudden transition.

Hopefully, this article helped you become familiar with the benefits and challenges of implementing telehealth in primary care.

If you still have questions or concerns, feel free to contact us


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