Telehealth Online Courses

People are increasingly embracing telehealth services, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet telehealth is not a new concept. Remote health services, from phoning in prescriptions to sharing medical imaging for long-distance diagnosis, date back more than 60 years. As telehealth grows in popularity, healthcare providers may be interested in learning how to best use it in their practices. A telehealth course can provide insight into telehealth and teach ways to leverage technology to connect with patients.

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Explore Public Health Online Short Courses

Harvard University Global Health Delivery Short Course

Join a network of leaders as you learn to leverage innovative approaches to global health delivery.

  • Flexible Structure
  • 10 weeks, Entirely Online

George Washington University Healthcare Management Short Course

Learn to plan strategically and respond to changing medical environments in the Healthcare Management online short course.

  • Led by thought leaders
  • 8 week online short course

Stanford Center for Health Education Nutrition Science Short Course

Unpack the various debates surrounding nutrition in order to learn the fundamentals of a good diet.

  • Flexible learning with personalized support
  • 8 weeks, Entirely Online

University of Cape Town Occupational Health and Safety Short Course

Gain the skills to effectively conduct risk assessments, and manage hazards and incidents in your company.

  • 10 weeks, Entirely Online
  • 7- 10 hours per week of self-paced learning online

What Is Telehealth?

Telehealth refers to providing various health services remotely, typically over the internet. Patient consults occur via phone calls or video chats with providers. This allows patients and providers to discuss concerns, symptoms and treatment options remotely. It can be more convenient, eliminating challenges some people may have with physical mobility or access to transportation.

Patients may be leaning more toward telehealth as the preferred way to receive care. A 2021 poll by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) found that one in three respondents prefer telehealth to an in-office doctor’s appointment. The percentage was higher among respondents ages 18 to 44. A telehealth course can be a good way for healthcare providers and others looking to leverage technology to learn how to connect with patients. 

Types of Telehealth

The term telehealth refers to just about any remotely delivered health service. While the technologies vary, there are three main types of telehealth services utilized in healthcare today. 

Store-and-forward: This refers to sending various medical diagnostics like imaging or test results to providers for further examination. The doctor doesn’t usually communicate with the patient. Instead, a specialist may review the results and send their opinion to the patient’s primary provider. 

Remote monitoring: This refers to the practice of having a patient self-test or use a monitoring device to gather information that’s transmitted to the healthcare provider. The technologies involved vary, but it’s a common way to monitor patients with chronic conditions. 

Real-time interactive services: This refers to visits with a patient by phone or internet. These appointments can be conducted via video or voice. During the appointment both the patient and provider can ask questions and discuss test results and treatment options. 

What Is the Difference Between Telehealth and Telemedicine?

Telehealth and telemedicine both refer to providing medical care remotely, but they are not interchangeable terms. The difference between telehealth and telemedicine comes down to the type of medical services being offered. 

Telemedicine refers to clinical services offered remotely, including remote diagnostics and treatments. This term is most commonly used for services a physician provides to a patient. Telehealth has a broader application and includes non-clinical services that extend beyond the patient-physician exchange. Telehealth can be offered by nurses, pharmacists or social workers.

What Are Telehealth Courses?

Telehealth is here to stay. Technology continues to improve our ability to communicate and share diagnostics, and healthcare professionals will need to understand how to utilize these technologies in their work. Telehealth courses may be a good path for those who wish to learn about delivering healthcare remotely. 

Telehealth courses can vary in structure, content and length, but they all can offer providers significant benefits. A course in telehealth may cover the following topics: 

  • Governing factors that impact implementation of telehealth.
  • Training and management staff requirements.
  • Optimizing patient experience.
  • Mapping the patient care path.
  • Creating accessibility through telehealth and removing limitations.
  • Legal and regulatory issues with remote health services.

By taking public health short courses, including ones centering on telehealth, healthcare professionals can sharpen their skills to meet the need for remotely delivered healthcare. 

Telehealth Course Admissions Requirements

Telehealth courses might be part of a larger degree program or stand-alone continued education courses. Courses connected to degree programs may offer credit, in contrast to continuing education courses, which typically provide a certificate of completion. Requirements and prerequisites may vary based on the type of course. For example, general college admissions requirements might apply to those enrolling in a course that counts toward a degree program. Certificate-based telehealth courses may have no admissions requirements. 

Whether a telehealth course is open to everyone or has enrollment prerequisites can depend on the specific course content. For example, courses dedicated to the administrative and legal aspects of telehealth may be open to all, whereas telehealth courses that cover technology for remote delivery of clinical services might be limited to licensed healthcare providers.

Be sure to read all admissions requirements before committing to any type of course, including telehealth courses online.

Telehealth Course Curriculum

Telehealth course topics, formats and expected learning outcomes may vary by course. Here are some examples of what you might cover in a telehealth course:

  • History of telemedicine and current advancements. 
  • How to adapt scheduling, billing and other administrative functions.
  • Privacy and record-keeping in the digital environment.
  • Legalities of remote healthcare delivery, including restrictions. 
  • Communications skills adapted to remote patient care. 
  • Technologies involved in diagnosing and delivering remote healthcare services.
  • How to improve patient outcomes in a telehealth environment.

Many courses focus on how to adapt healthcare functions, both administrative and clinical, to a digital environment. Be sure to read and understand the curriculum, intended audience and expected learning outcomes for any telehealth course that interests you.  

Weekly Workload of Online Telehealth Courses

Online telehealth courses are offered in many different ways, so how long they last and how much work each requires can vary widely. Some may be set up to be completed in a certain number of weeks with specific goals to be met along the way. For example, a six-week course may require a six-to-eight-hour weekly commitment, including time for reading, watching videos and test preparation. Other courses are self-paced, with the student working toward a pre-set goal on their own schedule. 

Many online telehealth courses are geared toward working professionals, so they are designed to be flexible enough to fit into a busy schedule. Make sure to find out specifics before you commit to a course. 

Who Are Online Telehealth Courses Designed For?

There are telehealth courses designed for several segments of the healthcare industry. Some telehealth courses are geared toward healthcare providers who want to learn how to more effectively provide care remotely. Others are for healthcare providers who run their own practice and want to learn how to grow their business by leveraging telehealth. Some telehealth courses are created for executives, administrators and those involved in the operational aspects of healthcare. 

Those already in healthcare may benefit from telehealth courses by gaining insight into how to make remote care more effective, practical and profitable. They may also receive clarity on some of the legal and ethical aspects of offering care in a remote environment. Those looking to kickstart an administrative healthcare career may gain valuable skills for entering the workplace.

Telehealth FAQs

Telehealth might not be new, but the way we use it has changed over time. Telehealth courses are also an evolving area of education. Some common questions about telehealth courses are covered below. 

What is the teaching purpose of telehealth courses?

Telehealth courses are designed to help healthcare professionals adapt their knowledge and skills to provide care in a digital environment, including methods for implementing telehealth and improving patient experiences, communication skills for virtual visits and diagnostic tools and legalities involved. 

How long does a telehealth course take?

Every course has its own timeline. Some are self-paced and others are more structured. A short telehealth course may take four to six weeks from start to completion. Many are geared toward full-time working professionals and may require a six- to eight-hour per week commitment. Every course is different, so research this before enrolling in any course. 

Is a telehealth course worth it?

Education and career goals vary by individual. While there is no way to guarantee a telehealth course will prove worthwhile for you, any continuing education in your profession can be considered a career asset. With the increase in popularity of telehealth services, expanding your knowledge in this area may be beneficial if you are in the healthcare field. 

What are examples of telehealth?

Telehealth includes several types of remotely delivered healthcare services. It may serve as an alternative or a supplement to in-person appointments. Telehealth typically refers to clinical and diagnostic services, patient consultations, testing and symptom monitoring and mental health services offered over the phone or internet. 

Last updated in February 2022

Sponsored

Explore Public Health Online Short Courses

Harvard University Global Health Delivery Short Course

Join a network of leaders as you learn to leverage innovative approaches to global health delivery.

  • Flexible Structure
  • 10 weeks, Entirely Online

George Washington University Healthcare Management Short Course

Learn to plan strategically and respond to changing medical environments in the Healthcare Management online short course.

  • Led by thought leaders
  • 8 week online short course

Stanford Center for Health Education Nutrition Science Short Course

Unpack the various debates surrounding nutrition in order to learn the fundamentals of a good diet.

  • Flexible learning with personalized support
  • 8 weeks, Entirely Online

University of Cape Town Occupational Health and Safety Short Course

Gain the skills to effectively conduct risk assessments, and manage hazards and incidents in your company.

  • 10 weeks, Entirely Online
  • 7- 10 hours per week of self-paced learning online