What is Telehealth?
Telehealth as a mode of delivering health care services that uses information and communication technologies to enable the diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management and self-management of patients at a distance from health providers. Telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s health status.
Why use Telehealth in Idaho?
Thirty five of Idaho’s forty four counties are rural or frontier and many areas have limited access to specialty care. Telehealth and telemedicine can provide a wide variety of inpatient, outpatient and emergency services throughout the state. Rural hospitals remain financially viable because patient revenues remain in the community. With telemedicine and telehealth, patients receive appropriate and timely access to specialty services. Reducing costs switches focus to prevention and improved management. Telehealth and telemedicine can result in significant savings to patients and payors by avoiding travel costs, duplication of tests and loss of work time. Rural Idaho continues to face challenges recruiting and retaining physicians, telehealth and telemedicine will play an increasingly important role.