Technology has revolutionized not just our lives but also healthcare in the last few decades. Telemedicine is one such result of technology. It has made healthcare for both the providers’ as well as the receivers’ fingertips away. Ever since Telemedicine has come into play, its usage or rather adoption has increased from 54 percent in 2014 to 71 percent in 2017 and is expected to only rise in the future. This increase is due to the fact that Telemedicine has made lives easier for not just the patients but also the healthcare providers.
The five ways telemedicine has made doctors’ lives easier are:
Healthcare providers have hectic lifestyles with long hour work shifts at the most ungodly hours. They are always expected to be on their feet for the patients in need. With the introduction of telemedicine in our lives, doctors are much more relieved in the sense that they don’t have to run to the hospital for an emergency, they can stay at home and attend the patient over a telemedicine application. This helps them striking a balance between their professional as well as personal life.
With increasing telemedicine companies in USA coming out with new and improved applications each day, doctors are open to a wide variety of patients with needs as per their own specializations, making the process swifter and error free for both parties.
Telemedicine is not just convenient for doctors but it can improve their revenue. With telemedicine, doctors are exposed to a wider base of patients from nooks and corners of United States, helping them pocket the extra cash. With that, it also mitigates the transportation costs for doctors, making it a profitable task.
Furthermore, follow-ups via Telemedicine are reimbursed for as well. In conventional practice, telephone only follow-up visits which are primarily conducted for reviews and check in on the progress are done for no charges. However, telemedicine helps in adding a video component to the process making the patient pay for it.
- Improved Outcomes
Since telemedicine requires patients to be an equal part of the process, they, as a result are much more engaged in the process. In addition to that, as the experience is virtual, patients have to spend less time in the waiting rooms which reassures them that their doctors are much more involved in their wellbeing, making them more comfortable with respect to voicing their concerns, early warning signs etc. This makes them more satisfied by the treatment.
- Lesser Competition
As naïve we may be when it comes to competition in the healthcare industry, it is in fact too significant to overlook. Doctors often face the pressure from their competitors and it has believed to have grown over the past few years. With the number of retail walk in clinics and standalone urgent care operations. With adding Tele health to the traditional practice is one way to protect against such competition for Doctors.
- No last minute cancellations
Conventional practice involves not just long waiting hours for the patients but also, frequent no-shows or last minute cancellations for Doctors. This problem is fairly profit-draining for the health care providers and needless to say, complete waste of time for them. These no-shows are often a result of transportation issues, work commitments which are practically eliminated when talked about Telehealth. With that, the in-person visits can now, conveniently be switched to Telemedicine appointments if something comes up last minute that prevents the patient from making it to the clinic.
Telemedicine has declined the conventional face to face visits to the doctor. This has resulted in a lot more issues being overlooked which could otherwise been taken into account. Not just that, adoption of telemedicine is fairly expensive, especially on the healthcare providers front as they require proper training to access and operate the application which makes the process tedious and time consuming. In addition to that, some applications have limited features which results in the past records of the patients not being presented to the Doctor making it difficult for them to ponder over the required treatment.
With vice comes virtue. Telemedicine, undoubtedly makes both patients and Doctors’ lives easier but there are certain aspects of it which still need to be improved.