Prior to the pandemic, telehealth usage and access was uncommon. However, following a host of waivers made available throughout COVID-19, barriers that previously barred individuals from telehealth technologies were now able to access it. This access allowed individuals, regardless of illness or location, to reap the benefits of post-acute care without the burden of finding transportation or risking coming in contact with the COVID-19 virus.

Read more to learn about the current and future status of various telehealth and telemedicine services within the post-acute space and how hospitals can be prepared to meet the ongoing need of their community.

The evolution and continued growth of telehealth

Now that health systems are adjusting to COVID-19’s impact, the long-term availability and access to telehealth services is a top priority for hospital integration beyond the public health emergency.

Further, it has been noted that telehealth will most definitely remain a long-term strategy within a hospital’s care continuum. This is especially true within local communities where ongoing provider shortages make telehealth a vital strategy to help ensure patients can access necessary care.

Looking ahead, health systems should expect continued growth within the telehealth and tech innovation space. Health systems are expected to see variations of telehealth and telemedicine services in the coming years. This includes telepsychology within the behavioral health landscape, and tele-physical and occupational therapies that are able to follow patients after they have been discharged home from an inpatient rehabilitation facility.

Further, in the realm of family education and discharge planning technology, health systems are in a unique position to develop and provide a digital, mobile-friendly experience for family members, offering real-time sharing of outcomes, coaching and education. This demand is due to the fact that consumers are becoming increasingly interested in monitoring care for themselves and their loved ones, just as they monitor their finances and wellness online.

With a multitude of options to help enhance the patient and family member experience as well as a hospital’s operations, health systems can begin to see the benefits in their overall outcomes including reduced readmission rates, lower care costs and increased patient satisfaction.

Read our white paper, “Top five trends for 2022: Your hospital’s guide to improved performance” to learn more about the trends expected to impact the post-acute space in the coming years and how Kindred can help your hospital prepare.

By Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services