Telehealth can remove barriers to care and make access to quality healthcare more equitable.

In the not so distant past, quality healthcare delivery had been relegated to few, making healthcare an extremely unequitable sector of the US. As we have seen, this only resulted in increased cost for care by reducing access to care at any given time. As a result, the health care system continues to be out of reach to millions of people who desperately need it. We have also witnessed a drastic decrease in the quality of care for some individuals. In response to these maladies, the adoption of a telemedicine concept has been implemented to expand access to healthcare and increase health equity.

With telemedicine, healthcare providers can instantly exchange important data such as symptoms, vital signs, medications, or imaging, as well as medical histories with the patient or his or her doctor. This allows for earlier identification and treatment of medical conditions, which in turn leads to better recovery rates and fewer side effects. By combining the exchange of patient medical records with comprehensive patient history on telehealth hosting platforms such as VOLA Connected Health, a medical professional is able to more effectively administer the appropriate treatment, which can even lead to a reduction in unnecessary surgery or medicine intake.

The implementation of telemedicine has resulted in dramatic improvements in emergency room visits, hospitalizations, time in the hospital, and readmissions. Additionally, patients who are able to rapidly access and complete their medication are less likely to experience withdrawals from prescription medications, which are often the case when a patient must suddenly stop taking a prescribed drug because of an emergency. When a patient can access his or her healthcare without being reminded to do so, he or she is far more likely to stay healthy. As such, health equity has increased and everyone has access to better healthcare.

Leveraging Telehealth to Drive Health Equity and Expand Access to Care

Utilizing telemedicine to increase access to primary care physicians and specialty doctors also leads to greater patient satisfaction. There is no need for a patient to drive all the way to the physician’s office to receive their healthcare. When a patient experiences the comfort and privacy of being taken care of in their own home, they are far more likely to take their time and be well educated on their specific healthcare condition. A primary care physician who utilizes telemedicine can offer his patients a convenience they would not otherwise be able to afforded. In addition to this, if a patient has questions regarding their condition or health, a physician can easily access patient health information in real time, which eliminates the need to make a patient wait in line at the physician’s office before receiving any advice or instruction.

Telemedicine allows for greater patient empowerment, as well. Patients can use the internet to locate a physician that offers a specialty or type of care that they are interested in. In addition to this, many telemedicine programs allow for the transportation of patients between physician appointments. The ability for a patient to have a personal doctor opens them up to receiving various medical care in a timely manner.

Health care costs are currently rising at an alarming rate. By implementing telemedicine, health plans can better accommodate high-quality care for more patients and reduce health spending across the board. For healthcare providers, leveraging telehealth can drive greater health equity which is an intelligent long-term investment for any health plan.

Looking forward, the americantelemed.org sums up the impact of telehealth on health equity; “as the health care system continues to change in the wake of COVID-19, stakeholders must avoid perpetuating its current barriers and inequities, including within the telehealth space. In just a few short months, telehealth has shown the potential to reduce barriers to care — such as needing to travel to a provider’s office or securing child care. As we look to the future, there’s an opportunity to consider the ways that telehealth can be leveraged to expand access and increase equity.  As we look to the future, it is imperative that telehealth be a part of the answer to expanding access to care and information for communities who have historically lacked access, rather than mirror the inequities of the current health care system.” — Sydney Etheredge, MPH is the Director of the Health Care Investment Program at Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

VOLA’s Healthcare application developers have created numerous applications that will be beneficial to the healthcare industry. These innovative developments have created products and solutions that will provide hospitals and doctors with real-time data on patient conditions. With these tools, healthcare professionals will be able to deliver the best care possible to patients. The healthcare connected technologies are designed to improve the healthcare experience for both patients and medical professionals. The next generation of medical devices and solutions will be designed with the latest in technology and security standards.

Interested in a demo to see our platform can be optimized for your organization? Schedule a demo with the VOLA team today! Contact Us.


About VOLA
Our mission is to support the rapidly growing digital transformation of the healthcare industry. We do this by equipping medical offices and telehealth providers with customizable and affordable technology. One of our key differentiators is our ability to connect laboratory tests into the workflow of telehealth services. Additionally, we have a dedicated SaaS product line to support laboratories and laboratory marketing organizations.