There is one thing for certain – technology has made the world incredibly small.
And there might not be an industry that has benefited from this fact more than the healthcare industry. Technology has allowed our healthcare facilities to access information that we once thought impossible, it has allowed us to connect with patients in new ways, and provide solutions and expertise to patients across the globe.
This is Telemedicine.
Telemedicine is rapidly changing the healthcare industry, so it is important to consider these advantages for your facilities so that you can make the proper investments now before you are forced to play catch up
Telemedicine is More Convenience
We all know the convenience of telemedicine for patients, but convenience is an advantage that healthcare professionals realize as well.
It is estimated that nearly 75% of Urgent Care and ER visits are either unnecessary or could be handled safely and effectively over the phone or video, according to statistics from the American Medical Association and Wellness Council of America.
Having this reduction of in-person visits reduces the stress on the entire healthcare staff and makes it much easier for them to treat the patients that really need care. It reduces the amount of time that they spend on their feet, keeping energy levels higher and keeping fatigue at bay.
On the other side of the convenience advantage – With telemedicine, you are able to take the healthcare professionals to the patient. With a product like a mobile telemedicine exam kit, you can service a broad area of individuals by bringing their needs to them when needed.
Telemedicine Saves Time
Healthcare facilities and professionals are under a lot of pressure to reduce the amount of time being spent with patients in order to see more individuals in a day. One way to do this without reducing the quality of care is through the use of telemedicine.
Studies have shown that the average visit with a doctor lasts approximately 17.4 minutes. On average, physicians that use telemedicine saw a reduction in that time by 20%. While that might not seem like a big number, it can add up over time allowing physicians to either see more patients or increase the quality of the care being provided.
These appointments are shorter for a few reasons. For one, telemedicine appointments tend to be more focused with less chit-chat. Doctors also have access to all patients’ information directly in front of them at all times, making it easier to reference, and finally the simple fact that they do not need to jump from room to room shaves off a few minutes as well.
Over the course of the year, think about those implications for your facilities.
Telemedicine Makes for Better Assessments
It may seem like a surprise, but telemedicine appointments tend to create better assessments than their in-person counterparts.
It all comes down to focus. While a Physician might not have access to all the tools they would typically use in a standard office setting, they are able to ask a lot more clarifying questions that might help them get to the answer that they need.
Also, your physicians can get more of a “lay of the land” of someone’s home or get other information that may end up making a large difference in the assessment and potential diagnosis.
This is particularly important in the field of mental health. A trained professional might be able to assess things going on around the patient that might be helpful in assisting them. In addition, they might be able to get a better assessment at the time of the issue instead of having that person try to remember how they were feeling or what was happening.
Telemedicine Increases Access to Specialists
One of the biggest advantages of telemedicine for both patients and facilities is having easy access to specialists from around the globe. By implementing telemedicine, you expand the knowledge base of your entire team and you let your patient know that you are getting them the best information possible.
Telemedicine Increases Cost Savings
Let’s talk about the bottom line. Earlier, we talked about how the time that is saved via a telemedicine appointment can allow a physician to see more patients in a day. While this is a great advantage, the inverse, reducing expenses, is also true!
These savings come in many forms from the use of equipment (gloves, masks, etc.), reducing the total number of beds being taken at any given time, and just making the overall healthcare system move much more efficiently.
Overall, there are a ton of incredible advantages to care providers who use and invest in telemedicine. Regardless of these advantages, telemedicine is becoming the future of healthcare and it is important for healthcare providers to invest early in this technology so they can experience the true advantage of it for themselves!