Over the last few decades, telemedicine and telehealth have had a major impact on the world of healthcare. Fast forward to 2020, and they have become two essential components of the care delivery model, providing a convenient, safe and helpful route for patients to receive the assistance they need.
The COVID-19 crisis has certainly fueled the need for remote care – with many patients obeying stay at home orders and physicians trying to keep their distance from as many people as possible, telemedicine offers a safe and simple care delivery journey to ensure patients continue to receive treatment and checkups to stay up-to-date with vaccines, prescription refills and general care. Continuity of care is essential, especially when we’re dealing with a global pandemic.
But this newly encouraged first option shouldn’t only be considered during difficult times. The convenience of remote checkups with providers is the new standard of care; the benefits telemedicine provides in your everyday delivery model is something that won’t dissolve once the crisis comes to a halt.
Telemedicine usage during the pandemic
It should come as no surprise that telemedicine has become widely used by care providers across the globe at an increasing rate, according to Healthcare IT News. Not only is it a sustainable solution for preventing and treating patients dealing with COVID-19, but it’s also effective in providing other options for care so fewer patients feel obligated to see a physician face-to-face when the advice or treatment can be provided digitally in the comfort of their own homes and at the same quality level as in-person visits.
In many instances, patients are excited to take advantage of the technology, according to Gina Tobalina, M.D. of Eldorado Hill, California.
“They are relieved to be able to connect with us and to see our faces,” she shared with the American Academy of Family Physicians. “It offers a lot of reassurance to them. They are worried about us, too, and they are glad to hear that we are OK and up and running. There are no apologies needed as they are so thankful to be able to see and hear us.”
There may be a learning curve involved for some patients, but providing the necessary information and learning materials to stay connected during these uncertain times enables patients to take full advantage of the technology while social distancing. Once your patients can connect to your virtual offerings, some of the benefits they’ll find through telemedicine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include:
- Gaining an understanding of whether they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Providing low-risk urgent care for those patients.
- Accessing specialized care for mental and behavioral health.
- Monitoring and managing chronic conditions.
- Continuing physical or occupational therapies.
- Receiving advanced care plans for non-emergency treatments.
In general, telehealth solutions can be used in most circumstances as long as the care doesn’t involve an emergency.
Why telemedicine should be prioritized following the crisis
The idea of connecting with a provider via remote access can offer peace of mind during a global pandemic, but it also lends itself to a whole new world of possibilities for healthcare reach, even after the dust settles from our current crisis. As the CDC stated, telemedicine allows those who are “medically or socially vulnerable” or who have limited access to providers the opportunity to ensure care continuity. This convenience and reassurance of care access allows patients to worry less about scheduling in-person visits and focus more on their everyday agenda without pushing care to the side. These benefits of telemedicine remain, COVID-19 or not, so there is no reason to revert care progress backward as we move to the future.
Additionally, when patients are able to see their providers remotely when an in-person visit simple isn’t feasible, there’s greater opportunity to preserve the relationship between the patient and provider. Instances like these can occur during and following a crisis, making telemedicine a valuable option that more patients will demand in the future.
How AMD can help you during the pandemic and beyond
Now, more than ever, patients are looking for a convenient and useful way to stay in contact with their care providers. AMD Global Telemedicine has nearly 30 years of experience in developing and implementing telemedicine programs, so we are ready to help empower your healthcare organization to provide telemedicine and telehealth services that will make an impact in the way your organization delivers care today and in the future.
While our solution can be highly advantageous during the immediate COVID-19 crisis, we can assure you that AMD’s telemedicine solutions are designed to scale with the business goals of your organization long term.
To learn more about expanding your current telemedicine program or if you’re interested in integrating a new system altogether, contact AMD Global Telemedicine today.