It takes a pandemic to reveal how much digital technologies are ignored in the healthcare sector. The COVID-19 pandemic is dramatically transforming the healthcare sector and how professionals gather medical intelligence. Almost every physician worldwide has been part of a telemedicine movement to encourage patients to embrace safe and virtual appointments.
For patients, it’s a new way of receiving a medical diagnosis. Understanding how to make the most of the digital interaction is crucial to their health.
Consequently, preparing for a virtual appointment requires some getting used to. As a rule of thumb, patients can struggle to explain some of their symptoms, even in face-to-face interaction. That’s where real-time medical examination can help reduce misunderstandings.
In the virtual world, gathering evidence such as taking photos or filming a video that shows your symptoms and asking the right questions can guide the doctor to the appropriate diagnosis.
However, while we focus on making telehealth more accessible to patients, we also need to prepare doctors to make the most of it.
Find reliable HIPAA-compliant hosting
Gathering and storing digital data is not a novelty for healthcare centers. Nevertheless, keeping data storage HIPAA-compliant can become a challenge with the increased number of telehealth appointments. Protecting patients’ records in a fully digital world means relying on a highly secured data hosting strategy, as per Atlantic.net.
Contrary to common belief, there is no such thing as a HIPAA hosting body that can verify the compliance claims of each provider. For healthcare centers that need to adapt to the growing telemedicine demand, the quest for a robust, reliable, and HIPAA hosting provider becomes tricky and expensive.
It can be a good idea for partner centers and experts to try QuoteColo.com and use hosting colocation services to share cost and data safely. Securing healthcare records that are collected on the go, and may be coming from an unsecured source depending on patients’ connection is a challenge healthcare centers need to tackle as a priority.
Research texting and communication training
Not all patients speak English fluently. While many healthcare centers offer interpreters or multilingual services – as much as possible – telemedicine changes the situation. Finding someone who is available online at the time of the appointment and can provide linguistic support can be difficult to organize. Additionally, patients who may not have required translation support in the past can find it hard to keep track of the information shared in a video call.
Doctors may not be in a position to speak many languages simultaneously. Yet, they can use simple symbols, such as emojis to clarify their message. Text message medicine or chat medicine – which can accompany a video call – allows patients to receive rapid treatment and diagnosis for a variety of health complaints. More importantly, the flow of information helps patients stay on top of their health.
Training health professionals to the appropriate use of emojis can make a significant difference. For patients, it’s a practical approach to talk about pain, display symptoms – the emoji dictionary is extensive – and ask for help, even if they lack the words to explain their issues.
Making healthcare more accessible in a digital world is no easy task. We all turn to AI and machine learning with our eyes full of hope about what these could help us achieve in the future. However, making machines a reliable diagnosis tool requires high-quality data collection and hosting. That’s the bit healthcare centers still need to develop safely.