Telemedicine: Advancements in Remote Healthcare
In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, new ideas and procedures are emerging to address the unique challenges faced by organizations. One such innovation is telemedicine, which has gained significant interest and development, particularly in recent times. In this blog post, we will explore how telemedicine works and the challenges it presents to medical practices seeking to leverage this groundbreaking approach to healthcare.
As a Managed Service Provider, we have witnessed how the current pandemic and quarantine measures have not only compelled employees to work remotely but also led businesses to embrace remote interactions. We have been assisting various enterprises in transforming this emergency situation into an opportunity for improved business operations.
A Global House Call
Although an in-person visit to a physician is usually preferred, many common conditions can be diagnosed remotely. Telemedicine enables patients to connect with doctors through video calls, providing an opportunity for direct communication. Patients can describe their symptoms, allowing doctors to make a diagnosis and devise a treatment plan. In certain cases, prescriptions can be sent to a local pharmacy for the patient’s convenience. If further testing is required, the doctor can make appropriate referrals.
Examples of conditions easily diagnosed via telemedicine include:
- Back Pain
- Anxiety and select mental conditions
- Minor infections such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) and sinus infections
- Low-risk urgent care
- Screening for necessary tests
Benefits of Telemedicine
One of the primary advantages of remote doctor visits is that patients can receive care without exposing themselves to additional health risks. Hospitals and doctors’ offices inherently house sick individuals, and frequent visits increase the likelihood of contracting illnesses. Telemedicine, by nature, promotes social distancing, which has become crucial amidst the ongoing pandemic.
This benefit has gained significant prominence this year as people seek to avoid crowded healthcare facilities due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. This holds true not only for patients but also for healthcare professionals working in these settings. According to The Guardian, approximately 20% of all COVID-19 patients contracted the virus while in a hospital. In such circumstances, individuals are more inclined to opt for remote consultations, ensuring they receive necessary medical attention without compromising their safety.
Moreover, telemedicine offers cost savings for both patients and physicians. Patients eliminate transportation expenses and the need to take time off work. Physicians can operate without the requirement of large medical spaces and extensive staff, potentially leading to reduced service charges for patients and insurance companies. Lower costs for insurance companies can help maintain reasonable premium levels, benefiting everyone involved.
Challenges of Telemedicine
Although telemedicine offers numerous advantages, implementing and maintaining the necessary technology and processes is not without challenges. Not all patients have access to computers, particularly older individuals or those with lower incomes. Even for those with computer access, stable communication via high-speed internet connection can be a barrier to telemedicine adoption.
Physicians also require specific technologies to ensure seamless operations. Simply relying on popular video conferencing platforms like Skype or Zoom may not suffice. Factors such as the location of the consultation (medical office or home office), collaboration between multiple physicians, frequency of remote communication, and the need to share test results or x-rays must be considered. Additionally, ensuring compliance with HIPAA standards regarding patient privacy presents a critical concern.
The Path to Success
Fortunately, if you are planning to establish or enhance a telemedicine practice, you do not need to navigate the technical aspects alone. Engaging with experts allows physicians to focus on what truly matters—their patients.
By involving us from the outset, you can eliminate the guesswork surrounding hardware and software requirements. Our team will ensure routine maintenance, upgrades, and even address HIPAA compliance, guaranteeing the security of patient privacy and providing you with peace of mind.
If you currently operate or are considering a telemedicine practice, we urge you to reach out to us at your earliest convenience. We will assess your specific needs and present you with multiple options to determine the best solution for your requirements. By entrusting us with our expertise, you can devote ample time to your core responsibilities. In these unprecedented times, the world truly needs dedicated healthcare professionals like you.