Technology isn’t the only thing that’s rapidly advanced within the past forty years. The methods available for health care practitioners to reach their patients have also grown with the changing times as well. Originally, telemedicine was developed for patients in rural, off-the-grid areas who may not have access to a physician when they need it.
Throughout the past forty years, the scope of who telemedicine reaches has expanded. More people are looking for convenient, quick healthcare. Here are some other reasons why patients and physicians choose remote, medical care.
Lower Fees Than Office Visits
It’s easier for psychologists, physicians, nurses and other practitioners to serve a larger amount of patients through an online medium. Since they’re able to expand the amount of people they serve, they can charge less for each consultation. This makes healthcare affordable to people who may have not sought it out because of the cost.
Consultations Can Be Charged With The Same Process as an In-Office Consultation
To an insurance company, there is no difference between a consultation over a medium, like an I-phone, and a consultation that happened at the clinic. A physician, or other healthcare practitioner, goes through the same process when charging fees. Practitioners who will not, or cannot, accept insurance can still participate in telemedicine. The process is the same as it is in the clinic for all healthcare practitioners.
Saving Room in the E.R. With Telemedicine
Practitioners are also doing a public service when they participate in telemedicine. By diagnosing illnesses, and other situations, over a medium like Snap Chat, they’re reducing the amount of individuals who end up in the E.R. for non-emergency situations. A physician, or other practitioner, is able to reassure patients that their heartburn isn’t a heart attack. This leaves more empty beds for patients who are actually undergoing a medical emergency.
A Medium to Encourage Good Health Habits
You’re able to encourage your patient’s healthy lifestyle choices every day when you have an open medium, like Health Tab. A lot of physicians use telemedicine websites to share articles and research about the benefits of good, health practices. Some practitioners will even put advice columns up for individuals looking to lose weight. There are articles discouraging drug, tobacco and alcohol use too. This helps to minimize the amount of people who will need serious healthcare intervention in the future.
One Serious Limitation
While telemedicine broadens the amount of people who receive healthcare, it also reduces the amount who get annual in-office check-ups with the same physician. This can make it more difficult for physicians to know a patient’s history. Unfortunately, when a patient gets a consultation with a physician who does not practice in their area, it’s much less likely that they’ll do their follow-up with the same one.
Telemedicine: It’s Good for Both the Doctor and Patient
While telemedicine will always hold some disadvantages, most of the advances offered by it have been good for both physician and patient a like. More patients are able to receive healthcare, and more doctors are busy giving it. Not all physicians and practitioners participate in medicine. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if it’s the best thing for your practice. If you’re a patient, you should weigh your options before choosing a route too.