Telehealth is becoming more important as a way to educate patients. It’s been especially helpful for doctors and others in the business of caring for people with chronic conditions. Even better, telehealth patient education has empowered people to take charge of their health and improve their quality of life. Here’s how it works.
What Can I Learn Through Telehealth?
Telehealth is typically used for patient education when the person has a chronic condition. So, for example, if you see a counselor for major depression or a cardiologist for heart disease, you can learn about that illness and how to manage it. Some of the lessons might include:
- General information about the disease.
- Symptoms and warning signs.
- Treatment options.
- Medication management information.
- Self-care tips.
- Recommended lifestyle changes.
How Is Telehealth Delivered?
Telehealth can be delivered by mobile devices, TV, telephone, videoconferencing, or any web-connected computer or device.
The information comes from your doctor, counselor, nurse, or other healthcare professional. They may talk with you to help you learn about your condition. Or, they may send videos and other digital information for you to view whenever you choose.
Why Telehealth for Patient Education?
Telehealth has several benefits for both healthcare providers and patients. Telehealth helps with patient education by:
- Giving people in remote locations easy access to educational resources.
- Efficiently delivering patient education despite provider shortages.
- Cutting costs for both clinics and patients.
- Eliminating travel time to receive patient education.
- Reducing stressors like dealing with traffic and getting to appointments on time.
- Offering more convenience than in-person educational sessions.
- Reducing time away from work.
Telehealth vs. Searching Online
Of course, the web is full of information about just about every medical condition. Then, why is telehealth better?
- Telehealth can be customized to meet your specific needs.
- You don’t have to search for information – it comes to you.
- You don’t have to weed out unreliable information sources.
- You have opportunities to ask questions or request specific information.
- You and your healthcare provider are on the same page.
Has Telehealth Been Successful for Education?
At this point, many studies have considered the effectiveness of virtual patient education provided by telehealth systems. Time and time again, the research has shown that telehealth is as effective or more effective for helping patients manage chronic diseases than face-to-face patient education.
Here are two specific studies that have shown the efficacy of patient education with telehealth.
- Since the Veterans Health Administration instituted their telehealth program, there’s been a 19% reduction in hospital admissions and 86% increase in satisfaction score for people enrolled in the program.
- A study of elderly patients receivin474g telehealth services showed that they spent fewer days in the hospital, went to the ER less often, had lower A1C levels, and had improved cognitive status.
Is Telehealth the Right Way for Me to Learn about My Condition?
Whether to use telehealth services is an individual decision for most people. In the future, telehealth will likely become the standard way for people to learn about their chronic conditions. In the meantime, consider the benefits and effectiveness that telehealth offers. You may have your answer right there. For one of the leading telehealth providers, check out https://www.betterhelp.com/online-counseling/.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.