Telehealth and the Future of Care

Telehealth (or telemedicine) is one of the key trends helping lower healthcare costs and improve patient access. Most hospital systems are investing in telehealth technology, and consumers are seeing real advantages. How can telehealth change healthcare for the better?


Telehealth allows patients to see caregivers when and where they choose, including in a clinic, at a pharmacy, or even at home. This benefit can be great for anyone working nontraditional hours or who cannot get to the doctor easily. Access to round-the-clock care can also help eliminate the need for costly and unnecessary ER visits.

Less Expensive

Telehealth visits are often 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of traditional in-person appointments. Recent studies show that more than 75% of issues are satisfactorily resolved after a telehealth visit, resulting in an overall lower cost to the patient while retaining the same quality levels.

Better Access

For those living in remote or underserved areas, telehealth allows broader access to caregivers and the ability to see specialists not present in the area. Caregivers from many disciplines can collaborate effectively and offer patients a better experience and better outcomes.

Concerns About Telehealth

There’s no question telehealth provides many benefits to the patient. As with any new technology, there are some concerns. 

Privacy and Identity Theft

When a patient is not in direct contact with the caregivers, there is a greater potential for identity theft or unauthorized use. Ensuring HIPAA compliance is also a potential concern, especially in retail or pharmacy sites.

Retrofitting Spaces

Remote care often requires changing existing care spaces to allow for new technology. That might mean adding monitor carts, incorporating screens into exam spaces, or setting up kiosks for consultations. Of course, remote caregivers will need workspaces and seating to ensure comfort and productivity.


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