Patients with a wide variety of medical needs, including telehealth in surgical care, are increasingly requesting telemedicine as an option for their care. Primary care is likely the only specialty one might think telehealth can use, but almost every type of medical practice can benefit from offering telehealth options. Surgical care is one area where telemedicine has been in strong demand. If telehealth is offered during surgical care, patients using telemedicine can limit trips to the hospital, save time, and reduce the number of workdays they must miss. What can be accomplished during surgical care using telehealth?
Preoperative Assessment and Diagnosis for Telehealth in Surgical Care
Preoperative assessments are a critical first step in the process of preparing a patient for a procedure. Some will be referred by other providers, while some come directly to the surgical center to discuss their goals and symptoms. This can be time-consuming for the patient, and ultimately turn them away from the process if possible.
Surgical centers can leverage telehealth during the assessment process. The process often involves a screening questionnaire, which can be completed using a secure video call. The doctor will be able to see the patient and examine surface-level issues. They can also review findings from other doctors if the patient was referred to them for a surgery. These assessments are as accurate as in-person and save the patient from having to come into the hospital to accomplish the same thing.
Surgery Postoperative Follow-Ups Via Telemedicine
Perhaps one of the most stressful parts of the surgical process for the patient are the follow-ups after the operation. This can be the most time-consuming part for them as it often involves multiple trips to see a provider, and depending on the surgery, can involve finding someone else to take them to their appointments. These visits can be long, depending on the distance they need to travel, and can involve taking time off work to make the appointment.
Telehealth is a great option for these follow up visits. For those patients with minimal complications, these follow-ups can be completed in a patient’s home with use of a secure platform. With a link between provider and patient, they can easily ask questions in-between follow up visits, and schedule and in-person visit if needed.
Telehealth in surgical can be leveraged to provide better care to surgical patients. By offering preoperative and postoperative telehealth visits, patient satisfaction will increase as they can fit more easily into their busy lives. There is less need to request time off from work and more available time in the patient’s schedule to keep a telehealth appointment. Providers can ensure follow-up directions are followed, and ultimately improve medical adherence throughout the process. By saving patients time and money, providers can give their patients the best care possible. Telehealth indeed extends far beyond primary care. It can be a great tool for surgical practices to implement to ensure that their patients maintain the important care that they need before and after their surgery.