The UK can no longer ignore the time bomb of an ageing and spiralling population. Something has to change in healthcare. If not, the associated pressures could overwhelm services and reduce the availability of care.
Clinicians are becoming increasingly aware of this urgent need for action. Thankfully innovative thinking, advanced technology and strategic planning are uniting in the fight against inefficiency, especially as the potential productivity, operational and cost benefits of telemedicine are revealed and recognised.
Visual collaboration and communication tools offer a unique opportunity for healthcare organisations to streamline their operations, deliver better services and open up access for those who previously struggled to reach services due to their location or condition.
It is answering many of the key questions facing medical organisations:
- How do you reduce operating costs without impacting the quality of care?
- Can waiting times be reduced any further?
- How do you tackle research and development in the modern era?
- How do you maximise practitioner productivity?
- Is information sharing possible on a national scale?
- How do you bring global expertise, research and specialism together quickly and cost-effectively?
The advancement of mobile technology, network connectivity and data services has ushered in an era where telemedicine is no longer an illusive concept, but rather an operational advantage waiting to be realised.
With the right combination of strategy and technology, healthcare providers improve how they address the needs of patients across all areas of care. From early diagnosis through to home-based treatment, telemedicine ensures higher quality services, unlocks global expertise and provides local communities with the most effective health facilities necessary.
Health now needs a multi-front strategy where clinical teams work intelligently without a reliance on overly expensive care strategies. Telemedicine reduces this burden on organisational budgets and staff through various methods:
- With visual communications, home patients can receive the same intimacy and attention as hospital-based individuals.
- Rural patients are no longer too difficult to reach due to cost and time restrictions.
- Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) collaborative spaces connect resources, knowledge, and research with the staff and remote specialists that need it the most.
- Productivity and communications tools strengthen referral patterns and increase the speed and scope of care.
Telemedicine transforms healthcare practitioners from isolated specialists to true colleagues working within unified, multi-disciplined teams. Delivering these outcomes has never been more critical for healthcare organisations and the individuals they serve.
The public will not wait for better services, they will simply expect it and demand it. Time is precious in healthcare and the time to act is now.
To learn more about our work in the sector, read our Central London Community Healthcare NHS case study.