Telemedicine is a developing facet of medical technology that can bring many benefits to both patients and providers. Aside from the obvious time savings and ease of getting medical care from the patient’s perspective, Telemedicine can be a huge benefit to doctors and small developing practices.
1. More patients are seen in a shorter amount of time
One of the biggest obstacles to juggle when it comes to providing great medical care in an office setting is being able to fit more patient’s into each doctor’s schedule while still offering optimal time for the visit.
With telemedicine virtual consults, a lot of the extraneous (but time-consuming) parts of an in-person office visit are eliminated, making more time for the doctor to talk to each individual. If scheduled properly, this means that each doctor should be able to virtually visit with more patients in a given period of time, without making any sacrifices in the quality of care.
2. Remote monitoring to avoid adverse outcomes and prevent admissions
When it comes to in-person visits, the doctor has a short window of time to educate and check in on the patient. All of the time in between in-person visits leaves the doctor pretty much in the dark as to how the patient is adjusting to the treatment, how symptoms are developing (if any), and generally how the care is going.
Telemedicine allows for many quick remote monitoring “check-ins” to see how medications and conditions are working out for each individual, with very little effort expended on the patient’s part.
These remote monitoring options can improve patient outcomes and compliance with treatments, potentially reducing future adverse events or hospital admissions long term.
3. Faster answers to patient’s questions and concerns
Questions and concerns are inevitable when it comes to treating patients.
And, much of the time, patients can feel that getting a doctor on the line for a question can be a hassle without the right systems set up.
A telemedicine platform can work with your current office structure while offering your patients quicker follow up to concerns via a structured and HIPAA-complaint system that can function even after hours.
4. Less missed follow up visits
Follow up visits can often be brushed off and ignored by patients due to them not wanting to deal with the hassle of an in-person office visit. By increasing the east of a follow-up visit by performing a virtual follow-up visit, patients are more likely to be compliant with attendance and have better health outcomes in the process.
5. Less concern of exposure to infectious diseases
The concerns of coming into contact with others who may have infectious diseases may be a worry for many patients, especially if they are already immunocompromised.
Conversely, if someone is not feeling well, they may not want to venture out to their local doctor’s office and risk exposing others to whatever they may have.
While for more severe conditions, it is necessary to get immediate care in an in-person setting, for less severe issues, it can be just as effective being seen virtually, without worrying about infectiousness.
6. Less lost time due to cancelations or commutes
Commutes aren’t just time-consuming for patients, but medical practices can also suffer when a patient is late due to traffic or traveling from far distances. Cancellations of in-person office visits can throw off the schedule of practice for a whole day or may leave a gap in the workflow that could have been used to see another patient.
In addition to the commute times for patients, doctors must travel to the office, and sometimes multiple locations. By getting rid of commutes and travel with Telemedicine consults, efficiency and lost time driving is regained for each visit.
7. More flexibility and expanded care for distanced or traveling patients
With in-person office visits, the clientele is often limited to those that live in close contact with the office location. This can limit the overall patient number, as well as excluding those that live far from lots of medical care options.
Telemedicine allows a clinic to expand their patient to reach potential while giving those that live in more rural areas better access to healthcare.
For patients that are traveling, or live in different areas during certain times of the year (like snowbirds), Telemedicine can offer distanced virtual visits.
This avoids the patient having to use alternate and potentially unfamiliar health care options short term while providing more business for the medical office itself by retaining patients all throughout the year.