Have you ever tried to shoot at a moving target? The dynamic nature of the endless technological advances in healthcare like telemedicine, EHRs, robotic surgery, 3D printing, AI, IoT, and VR therapy are among the many moving targets of healthcare. The chances of hitting the “healthcare bullseye” over and over, year after year would be a difficult task with the terrain of moving targets.
Even so, the significance of telemedicine cannot be overstated. As 2024 draws near, the incorporation of telehealth services into our healthcare organizations is not only highly sought after but also essential.
Data Supports the Importance of Telemedicine
Recent data highlights the indisputable response to this revolutionary method of delivering healthcare. In 2021, telehealth usage experienced an unprecedented increase of 38%, as reported by the American Telemedicine Association. Currently, 76% of U.S. hospitals have adopted various forms of telemedicine services. Furthermore, research completed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that in 2020, 67% of healthcare providers reported the use of telemedicine, representing a notable increase from preceding years.
These striking statistics underscore the pressing requirement for an allocated budget line specifically designated for telemedicine in 2024. This allocation is imperative to guarantee that this invaluable tool is not only maintained but also optimized for the mutual benefit of patients and healthcare professionals.
Here are some of the top reasons hospitals are including telemedicine in their 2024 budget…
To Close the Care Access Gap
Improving access to care, especially by overcoming geographical barriers, is vital in the 2024 telemedicine budget. For many in remote or underserved areas, geography has posed a significant challenge to obtaining healthcare. Statistics support this, with over 60 million Americans struggling to access healthcare due to their location, as reported by the National Rural Health Association. Allocating resources to expand telemedicine will bridge this gap, ensuring quality healthcare is available to all, regardless of location. This not only aligns with the goal of achieving equitable healthcare for all citizens but also has the potential to greatly enhance health outcomes and reduce disparities nationwide.
Assimilation of reduced overhead in the budget is vital for streamlining healthcare delivery. Studies, like the one in Health Affairs, show that telemedicine can cut operational costs for office visits by approximately 19%. By allocating funds for telemedicine, healthcare institutions can invest in necessary infrastructure and training, leading to more efficient and cost-effective care. This not only benefits providers but also translates to more affordable care for patients, contributing to a more sustainable and accessible healthcare system overall.
To Cut Hospital Readmissions
Reducing readmission rates is a pivotal goal for 2024. Studies demonstrate that robust telemedicine programs can notably cut hospital readmissions. For example, the Journal of Medical Internet Research reported a 44% decrease in readmissions for heart failure patients using telehealth. By investing in and enhancing telemedicine services, we enhance patient outcomes and relieve strain on healthcare resources, fostering a more efficient and sustainable system. This approach aligns with the overarching aim of delivering superior care while managing costs effectively.
To Shorten Patient Wait Times
Allocating resources for efficient patient flow and shorter wait times via telemedicine in the 2024 budget is crucial for enhancing healthcare delivery. Studies indicate that telemedicine substantially reduces appointment wait times. An American Hospital Association survey revealed that 75% of patients experienced quicker access to care through telehealth. By investing in telemedicine infrastructure and training, healthcare providers can bolster efficiency, ensuring timely care for patients. This not only boosts patient satisfaction but also optimizes resource utilization, resulting in a more accessible and responsive healthcare system overall.
To Bolster Specialized Care
Incorporating resources for enhanced specialized care, specialist access, and collaborative opportunities through telemedicine is crucial for advancing healthcare accessibility and quality. Telemedicine enables seamless specialist consultations, overcoming geographical limitations. Recent statistics indicate a 55% surge in telehealth consultations with specialists, necessitating the need for a 2024 budget line for telemedicine. Moreover, it promotes collaborative care, enabling multiple experts to work together on complex cases, resulting in more comprehensive treatment plans and ultimately leading to improved healthcare outcomes. Allocating resources to this facet of telemedicine ensures patients can access “expert care, anywhere.”
By focusing on the target at hand, integrating a budget line for telemedicine in the upcoming year is essential for realizing significant cost savings for organizations. If your hospital has completed a needs assessment to identify the specific target areas where telemedicine can enhance care delivery, evaluate potential telemedicine providers or platforms to ensure maximization of benefits from this innovative healthcare solution. To help you hit your mark, contact Eagle Telemedicine today to hit the “healthcare bullseye” in 2024.