How the Pandemic Improved Healthcare
Telehealth jobs have filled a huge void in US healthcare services, as the world battled Covid. Telehealth even played an important part in fighting the pandemic itself. It provides patients far and wide with social-distanced access to healthcare services when hospitals are overstretched.
But what is the future for telehealth jobs post-Covid vaccine? Will patients revert to the old methods of accessing healthcare, in person, or is telehealth here to stay?
According to research from McKinsey & Company, only 11% of Americans considered using telehealth services before 2020. Today, a huge majority of the population (76%) would consider using it now and in the future.
In this article, we explain why telehealth will still be an integral part of our healthcare future, long beyond the Covid vaccine rollout.
Congress Under Democrats Embrace Telehealth
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is focusing a game-changing spotlight on the future of healthcare with a proposed bill to (most notably):
- Require commercial insurers to cover telehealth
- Require payers to reimburse for telehealth services at incentivized, appropriate rates
- Integrate a mandatory telehealth program within the U.S. health network
- Eliminate geographical licensing restrictions (which have only temporarily been extended because of the pandemic)
- Expand telehealth services and resources for mental health and substance abuse treatment
“In response to the public health emergency, telehealth shored up a troubled health system,” said Cuomo, who is committing to “act as soon as possible this year to ensure telehealth remains available to all, wherever and whenever it is needed.”
Patients Want Telehealth
Before the pandemic, accessing medical care remotely wasn’t really a thing, so patients never missed something they never had.
But now they’ve had a taste of it, they’ll feel disadvantaged without the benefits it provides them:
- Patients can access healthcare more easily – irrespective of location or ability/disability, all patients will be able to seek medical advice from their homes.
- Patients can receive more consistent, constant care – particularly crucial for those who require regular and routine care, such as COPD or diabetes. And more frequent care means better prevention, and less need for cure with hospital admissions.
- Patients save time and money – no more commuting to and waiting for appointments, taking time off work, or paying for childcare to attend a 15-minute appointment (meaning the likelihood of a patient attending a scheduled appointment will be far greater).
Hospitals Want Telehealth
Telehealth wasn’t developed enough for when the healthcare sector really needed it in the heat of pandemic. But the seismic shift forced upon it has shown hospitals the advantages of telehealth they can’t afford to turn back on. Telehealth provides hospitals with:
- Increased turnover and reduced costs – failed virtual appointments aren’t such a financial blow, while healthcare facilities can reach out further to a wider pool of patients who need access to their services.
- Increased patient satisfaction – with regular monitoring comes higher-quality, more convenient care to patients, therefore increasing patient retention.
- Improved efficiency – both patients and staff can connect and communicate more effectively, sharing medical records at greater ease and with greater accuracy, delivering better outcomes, and at speed.
Telehealth Professionals Want Telehealth
Telehealth gives those in telehealth jobs a better work/life balance, thanks to lifechanging advantages in their personal and professional lives, such as:
Flexibility – working consultations in with personal responsibilities, this is a hugely beneficial factor to healthcare professionals who are used to very unforgiving shift patterns.
Reduced/eliminated commute – those lost hours to commute are damaging to an individual’s wellbeing. Without the commute, healthcare professionals no longer lose hours on the road.
Reduced absence from work – with a better work/life balance, telehealth professionals suffer less burnout, and recuperate better between shifts.
Job satisfaction – all these factors create a healthy, enjoyable career and lifestyle.
Provision of healthcare has been forced to change, for the better. Healthcare – and indeed, the entire nation – will breathe a deep, weary sigh of relief when the Covid vaccination is complete.
There is no going back with regards to telehealth. Coronavirus was merely a trigger to a new way of providing exceptional, convenient, effective healthcare. Telehealth is here to stay, and will only continue to grow in popularity and success.