The Future of Healthcare: Exploring the Benefits of Telehealth Services
Healthcare facilities with operating licenses issued by accredited healthcare institutions can offer telehealth services to those looking for medical attention from qualified healthcare providers. It enables people to get healthcare services through contemporary information and communication technology without having to go to a physical healthcare facility. Through a variety of communication methods, the patient and the doctor, who are not physically present in the same place, can consult and converse online. The regulations permit the issuance of e-prescriptions and reports via telehealth services. The processing and transmission of data gathered in the course of providing healthcare services are expressly prohibited outside of the legal framework, according to the legislation. In regard to the healthcare services offered and received, the protection of personal data is thus maintained. Additionally, healthcare facilities having an international health tourism authorization certificate may offer telehealth services in accordance with applicable laws.
Telehealth Service Regulation
The Telehealth Service Regulation, prepared by the Ministry of Health and published in the Official Gazette on February 10, 2022, sets out the procedures and principles that healthcare facilities providing and will provide telehealth services must comply with. According to the regulation consisting of 20 articles, telehealth services can only be provided by institutions that have sufficient infrastructure in terms of information technology and approved by the ministry. The answer to the question of what is done within the scope of telehealth services can be listed as follows:
- Patient examination can be conducted.
- Control of diagnosed diseases can be ensured.
- Medical observation, monitoring, follow-up, and evaluation procedures can be performed.
- Health data can be tracked and evaluated using wearable technology and medical devices.
- Necessary medical procedures can be carried out in cases of endemic and epidemic outbreaks.
- Evaluation and monitoring of individuals with risky health conditions or elderly individuals can be conducted.
- Psychosocial health services can be provided to patients.
- In necessary cases, it may be recommended for the patient to physically apply to a healthcare institution.
How is Telehealth Service Provided?
The provision of telehealth services is carried out through communication tools created or registered and approved for use by the Ministry of Health. These communication tools include written, audio, or video communication methods. Communication tools that facilitate the receipt and provision of telehealth services are created using secure software. The minimum standards for the secure provision of services are determined by the ministry. You can provide healthcare services as a physician or receive healthcare services as a patient through MediBulut.
What Should Healthcare Institutions Do to Provide Telehealth Services?
Healthcare institutions must obtain an operating permit within 6 months at the latest to provide telehealth services. The obtained operating permit is recorded in the relevant institutions' operating permit documents.
The application for the operating permit must be made to the relevant Provincial Directorate of Health. If the application is deemed appropriate, the commission formed by the directorate examines the application and prepares an eligibility report. The eligibility report prepared by the commission is sent to the directorate to ensure the issuance of operating permits for healthcare institutions.
What Should Patients Do to Receive Telehealth Services?
Patients requesting telehealth services can request face-to-face or online appointments through institutions that provide such services. You can also access telehealth services easily and safely through MediBulut, which offers telehealth services in written, audio, or video formats.