By DeVry University
Over the past several years, technology has made it easier than ever to access healthcare no matter where we are in the world via telehealth services.
But what are telehealth services exactly? How do they work and how do they impact the healthcare industry? Well explore all this and more in the following sections:
What are Telehealth Services?
Telehealth services allow you to meet with medical professionals over the phone or by video call from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you happen to be. These visits can include routine checkups and therapy sessions, but telehealth can also include remote patient monitoring or mobile health services. Over the last few years, many healthcare providers have incorporated telehealth services more robustly in order to accommodate more patients and to help health care be more convenient.
In many cases, telehealth services can be used as a supplement to traditional health services. For example, if a patient rolls their ankle and is unsure if they suffered a sprain or a break, they can discuss the symptoms with a doctor over the phone, show the doctor the affected area and find out whether they need an X-ray or other in-person treatment.
How Have Telehealth Services Impacted Healthcare?
Telehealth services (aka telemedicine) have had many positive impacts on the world of healthcare. According to an article by NCBI, telehealth services have made healthcare much more accessible to those who live in remote areas, where getting to a doctor represents a substantial impediment to healthcare.
The practice has also increased quality of care for immunocompromised patients since they can receive medical advice without putting themselves at risk by visiting a care facility, where sick people may be present.
Are There Jobs in Telehealth Services?
While telemedicine-specific jobs have yet to be tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they have published some information that can help us better understand trends related to telehealth services. According to an article published in February 2022, the BLS reports that telehealth visits increased by 50 percent in the United States from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This matches trends in the medical billing and coding industry. The COVID-19 pandemic made it necessary to adjust the codes used by medical billing and coding professionals that coincided with an increased use of telehealth services. As more people needed healthcare access from the safety of their homes and telehealth became more widespread, it hasn’t gone away. While data is still limited, telehealth services may be a space to watch for those looking to pursue a career in this corner of the healthcare industry.
What Skills are Needed to Work in Telehealth Services?
Despite being done virtually, telehealth services still require many of the same skills as traditional healthcare, which include:
- Knowledge of basic medical terminology
- Understanding of IDC codes
- Familiarity with regulatory concerns for healthcare
- Experience processing, documenting and recording information
Thinking About a Career in Healthcare?
If you’re interested in building skills that can help you prepare to pursue a career in healthcare, we can help. We offer a variety of degree programs, such as our Online Undergraduate Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding that are designed to help you develop an understanding of important regulations and healthcare laws and learn how to keep up with industry trends. Classes start every 8 weeks.