The healthcare sector is continually evolving, and more people are taking advantage of the hybrid telehealth services model when they need to schedule an appointment with their physician. This shift began during COVID-19 lockdowns and has continued even though most COVID-related restrictions have been lifted, including those that prevented individuals from seeing their doctor face-to-face. Lower healthcare costs and access to immediate care are among the benefits of a hybrid telehealth services model.
What Is a Hybrid Telehealth Services Model?
Traditional telemedicine and the hybrid telehealth model have much in common but differ regarding the patient experience. A hybrid telehealth service model comprises in-person and virtual consultation and care services. Some might say it’s a step up from traditional telemedicine, an entirely virtual form of healthcare whereby medical practitioners only diagnose and treat their patients remotely. Hybrid telehealth complements in-office visits with a physician and allows for in-office follow-up visits as needed.
Why More Healthcare Providers and Patients Are Embracing Hybrid Healthcare
The patient experience is the driving force behind many healthcare-related decisions for patients and physicians. When the COVID-19 pandemic prevented everyone from seeing their physician face to face, many people tried telehealth or virtual healthcare for the first time. Many patients are still enrolled in these programs today because they had an excellent patient care experience, even though it came via their laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Having the option to once again schedule in-person office oncology appointments with their physician when needed also improves their patient experience. From a practice management standpoint, individual physicians and medical groups that offer hybrid healthcare services say it’s the future of telemedicine.
What Are the Benefits of a Hybrid Telehealth Services Model When It Comes to the Patient Care Experience?
The primary objective of telehealth is to achieve favorable patient outcomes. Physicians, nurse practitioners, and other providers who offer this type of care accomplish this via unconventional means, say many of the top medical practice management service companies. Some of these unconventional means include the following:
Smart Vital Sign Monitors
One of the most notable benefits of the telehealth model is how it empowers individuals to be more involved in everything related to their health. For instance, smart blood glucose meters and blood pressure monitors send patient health information directly to their provider’s office. The ability to do this eliminates the need for an in-person office visit and significantly improves value-based care by driving down overall healthcare costs.
Smartphones and Other Mobile Devices
Like smart vital sign monitors, the smartphones, laptops, and tablets that most of us use daily can help us get the most out of our virtual healthcare appointments. For example, patients can use their smartphone or tablet to take and send a picture of a suspicious bump or lesion to a physician to find out if it’s something benign or something that requires further investigation. Laptops or tablets are also essential for those virtual face-to-face appointments.
A Telehealth System Benefits Physicians and Health Insurance Providers
Most physicians and health insurance providers agree that virtual care can do just as good of a job in improving value-based care, care coordination, and overall patient outcomes as in-office visits can. Some even believe that virtual care is better.
Monitoring Existing Health Problems
The telehealth model makes it easier for physicians and patients to stay on top of existing health problems that require constant monitoring. During these virtual appointments, physicians can collect data and evaluate the overall state of a patient’s health. If the patient has a worsening health problem, the physician can alter their course of treatment or arrange to have them seen by a specialist. Taking either of these steps early and not waiting until they’re more difficult to treat can go a long way toward keeping healthcare costs as low as possible.
Better Patient Compliance
Studies show patients are more likely to keep virtual appointments with their physicians than in-office ones because they don’t have to worry about traveling to see their doctor or being forced to wait in an overcrowded waiting room. It’s much easier to sign into an online portal and speak with a physician from the privacy of your home, which ultimately results in better patient compliance.
Hybrid Healthcare Is the Future of Telemedicine
From care coordination to better patient compliance, hybrid telehealth paves the way for the future of healthcare. This model benefits individuals needing medical care and the providers who render that care.
At Horizon Oncology, we believe in providing the best medical solution to treat the whole person, not just the disease. We ensure that you understand all of your options and create a personalized treatment plan that best meets your needs. Contact us to learn more or schedule an appointment.