Telemedicine saves patients and hospitals time and money every day. Should you subscribe?
Since 2019, telemedicine has seen a lot of new attention in the media as a solution to many of the public health issues the pandemic ushered in.
Now, experts are rethinking the entire foundation of our healthcare delivery system. Telehealth and telemedicine both play starring roles. Here are a few reasons why.
1. Telemedicine Is Convenient
Remote patient monitoring and virtual patient consultation, as well as the ability to share results, medical images, and other important documents all make receiving care on your time easier than ever.
Now, without the drive and the wait on-site, a patient’s time investment will often be greatly reduced when compared to a traditional office visit.
2. Telemedicine Is Efficient
The same goes for the providers on the other side—telemedicine practices minimize even the time it would take for a doctor to walk down a corridor to visit another patient’s room.
Less time wasted equates to more time interacting with each new patient in his or her queue, which means that a provider will likely be able to serve more patients over the course of a day.
3. Telemedicine Is Accessible
The elderly, those living in rural areas, and those living in areas where immediate access to healthcare is limited can all use telemedicine to bridge the gap.
Aside from these demographics, who else stands to benefit the most from telemedicine?
- The severely immunocompromised
- Those with mobility limitations
- Those with hearing- and vision-related deficiencies
- Patients with language barriers
- People in frequent need of care or assessment
- Those seeking care outside their state or nation
Of course, not every problem can be addressed through virtual doctor’s visits. Even individuals in need of hands-on care stand to benefit from the use of telemedicine, however—a remote visit means fewer people packed into waiting rooms and more healthcare professionals and hospital rooms available for service.
4. Telemedicine Is Economical
The economics of telemedicine aren’t especially complicated, and they benefit more than just the patient. Telemedicine and telehealth technology can reduce patient costs to providers by nearly half—for on-site care, the difference is even greater.
Rising gas prices and other associated travel costs aside, the time a virtual doctor’s visit takes away from a patient’s day job means that they’re less likely to suffer economically—consider an entire day of income loss when compared to a half hour’s break. Telemedicine also allows a higher volume of patients to receive care daily, maximizing revenue and keeping hospitals and other vital points of care squarely in the black.
5. Telemedicine Keeps Patients Safe
If you never have to leave your home to receive life-saving service when you need it most, you avoid exposuring others and yourself.
COVID-19 risk mitigation is one obvious set of extenuating circumstances, but even something as simple as an older patient who may fall on the way to an appointment presents an extremely common reason to use telemedicine whenever possible.
Why We Think Telemedicine Practices Are Here To Stay
Many believe the pandemic was the perfect disaster to test the waters for broader telemedicine coverage in an everyday sense. After COVID-19, we saw an unprecedented increase in patient volumes worldwide, setting the stage for a desperately-needed solution for everybody.
Though some may be concerned about privacy and security, the implementation of end-to-end encryption, patient verification technology and other means of digital, HIPAA-compliant protection means that telemedicine becomes safer and more reliable every day.