15 million people used telehealth services in 2015, up 50% from 2013.
How can you add a medically qualified interpreter to your telehealth sessions?
The Issue: The use of telehealth is exploding in the U.S. due to the fact it enables increased access to quality care and reduced costs.
“Industry experts have touted telehealth as a tool to improve healthcare access and quality, adding that the practice could save as much as $4.8 billion in annual healthcare spending,” according to Modern Healthcare. While telehealth has gained credibility and reimbursement opportunities in urban healthcare facilities, it is also becoming a mainstay of improved care delivery for rural populations and others in healthcare deserts.
Telehealth has the power to bring the doctor to the patient, no matter where either is located. As the virtual care platform exponentially expands access to healthcare, whether it is enabling a long-distance consultation with a specialist or a virtual visit in a patient’s home, telehealth is game-changing technology that enhances the delivery of care.
According to HIMSS Analytics, hospitals’ adoption of telemedicine technology has increased by roughly 3.5 percent per year from 54.5 percent in 2014 to 61.3 percent in 2016. They forecast between 51 to 53 percent (between 2,900 to 3,000 U.S. hospitals) to have installed telemedicine technology by 2020.
The Impact: The more telehealth is utilized, the more it proves its worth — driving better outcomes, higher patient satisfaction and lower costs.
Telehealth is demonstrating encouraging results. According to The Geisinger Health Plan Study, patients enrolled in its telemedicine program experienced 44 percent lower readmissions over 30 days and 38 percent lower over 90 days, compared to patients not enrolled in the program. In terms of cost, the study found that implementation of a telemedicine program generated about 11 percent in cost savings during the study period. This led to an estimated return on investment of about $3.30 in cost savings for every $1 spent on program implementation.
Patients appreciate the convenience of the technology and are satisfied with the experience of virtual care. A study of the outcomes of care for 8,000 patients who used telemedicine services found no difference between the virtual appointment and an in-person office visit.
With over 25 million limited English proficient (LEP) and 4 million Deaf and hard of hearing (HOH) people in the United States, it is essential for providers to offer language access through their telehealth programs. Enabling video remote interpreting (VRI) through a telehealth platform facilitates immediate access to medically qualified interpreters. These specially trained remote interpreters can help providers extend access to quality
How InDemand Can Help
InDemand Clarity-Connect enables healthcare organizations and telehealth application providers to seamlessly add live, medically qualified interpreters into telehealth sessions, anytime, anywhere. InDemand is the first VRI provider to integrate its VRI service with the industry leading Vidyo® videoconferencing platform, making it possible for telehealth programs to better serve the needs of LEP, Deaf and HOH patients.
In addition to delivering immediate access to a medically qualified interpreter, InDemand Clarity-Connect enables better communication between patients and clinicians using high-definition, crystal clear video and sound. Healthcare organizations, as well as providers of custom applications that utilize the Vidyo videoconferencing platform, can now implement telehealth initiatives with the InDemand Clarity-Connect Widget or the Application Programing Interface (“API”). Our industry-neutral solution makes it possible for health systems nationwide to add interpreting services to their telehealth programs easily and without upfront investment.