Thanks to COVID-19, telehealth has grown exponentially in a short timeframe. When the pandemic began, the healthcare system had to find alternate ways to care for patients because of hospital crowding, bed shortages, and the virulence of the virus.
Thanks to technological advances, virtual care became the new normal. In fact, it didn’t take long for patients and their family members to grow accustomed to the convenience and flexibility telemedicine offers. These types of visits have been especially helpful for pediatric practices because parents are able to bring their children to their appointments without having to miss work or lose wages.
During the last three years, pediatric practices have shifted away from exclusive office visits to a combination of virtual and in-person appointments. As we approach another post-pandemic year, it’s obvious that telemedicine is here to stay. In addition, telehealth platforms have become more sophisticated. Moving into 2023, healthcare experts are projecting that telemedicine will maintain its stake in healthcare as the medical community discovers even more ways to integrate the technology into a variety of healthcare settings. In this blog, we are exploring three trends to watch for when it comes to pediatric telehealth in the new year.
Pediatric Telemedicine in Multiple Healthcare Settings
While there may be some socioeconomic barriers to telemedicine, it’s generally considered a convenient and easy method of accessing healthcare. Even patients who require complex, specialty, or acute medical care can have access to treatment. Telehealth continues to have benefits in every aspect of healthcare including inpatient, outpatient, and after-hours settings. Let’s explore these three areas and how they are trends to look for in 2023.
Many facilities, especially smaller hospitals, lack pediatric specialists, such as intensivists for their intensive care units. One study found almost half of acute care facilities had no intensivists on staff. Many specialists are based in children’s hospitals, which are typically located in larger cities.
Telemedicine can bridge this gap by allowing a specialty physician to connect to the patient remotely with a nurse at the bedside to assist in the physical assessment of the patient. They can then accurately evaluate, diagnose, and begin treatment for critically ill children without the delay of having to wait for emergency transportation to a more equipped facility.
There’s no doubt that telemedicine improves access to care for rural and underserved areas. When telehealth is an option, many barriers are removed for these populations. Overall costs decrease when patients are able to receive more frequent and reliable care to manage their conditions before they become emergently ill.
In addition, there is improved patient engagement and satisfaction because telemedicine offers flexibility. Incorporating telemedicine into pediatric practices lessens in-person visits to the clinic, thereby reducing infection transmission, eliminating stress and anxiety of having to miss school, and decreasing work absenteeism for parents and caregivers. Anytime Pediatrics offers a user-friendly platform that can help your pediatric office seamlessly integrate telemedicine into your practice.
An after-hours service is a crucial element in providing continuity of care and reducing unnecessary emergency room visits. This care model is continuously evolving. Anytime After Hours, which is a nurse triage platform, incorporates video and virtual care into the traditional medical exchange model.
As the nursing shortage grows due to burnout and staffing shortages become more apparent, having telehealth nurses who can treat your patients with standardized protocols bridges this gap. Experienced registered nurses with emergency room experience staff our after-hours service, and they utilize Schmitt-Thompson protocols with every call. They are able to thoroughly triage your patients and offer them accurate reassurance and evidence-based treatment even when your office is closed.
More Future Benefits of Pediatric Telemedicine
There are even more ways telemedicine can benefit patients, families, and healthcare providers. Some of these options include:
- School-based telehealth solutions
- Chronic condition management
- Child counseling and education
The role of pediatric telemedicine will continue to grow while offering providers the ability to maintain excellent patient care. Furthermore, patients will continue to receive the appropriate time and attention they require for their medical condition. For parents of young children, the flexibility and convenience of scheduling remote office visits will remain. Overall, patients and their families will be able to obtain proper healthcare, regardless of location or schedule limitations.
Incorporate Telehealth into Your Pediatric Practice in 2023
As you look at the goals for your pediatric practice in 2023 and beyond, are you considering how virtual care solutions can benefit your business and the families you serve? If so, Anytime Pediatrics can help you develop a customized telemedicine workflow for the new year! For more information on our high quality, cost-effective telehealth platform, contact us today to request a consultation.