Virtual healthcare is essential to providing care to patients safely when and where it is needed. But what is virtual healthcare?
‘Virtual healthcare’ is the ability to remotely see and engage a patient remotely through technology to provide care. Virtual healthcare is essential to reaching and serving more patients while addressing resourcing and staffing shortages.
Virtual healthcare is delivered to the patient via technology such as telephones, video, mobile apps, text-based messaging, and other communication methods.
These technologies provide real-time communication between a healthcare provider and their patient. This real-time, or synchronous, connection leads to better care, particularly in underserved areas such as rural and remote communities, prisons, and aged care facilities.
Benefits of virtual healthcare
Virtual healthcare improves the delivery of care to patients by:
- Improving access to care
- Improving the quality of care
- Providing convenience
- Monitoring and managing chronic conditions
- Treating urgent symptoms
- Reducing geographic barriers
- Reducing costs
- Facilitating better self-care
Virtual care can be a good choice if:
- You live in a remote location
- You are unable to attend a physical appointment or need to self-isolate
- You have work or other social commitments
- You want to reduce travel costs and times
- You would like access to services not available in your area
- You want to self-manage your health conditions.
For health systems, virtual care can:
- Promote patient engagement
- Improve access to specialist services and support
- Improve clinical networks and professional collaboration
- Facilitate flexible service delivery models and multidisciplinary care
- Extend scope and support to rural and remote communities
- Improve access to education and professional development opportunities.
Virtual care has a critical role to play in modern healthcare. The ability to connect patients with providers no matter where they are, leads to better outcomes and healthier populations.