For some physicians, adopting new technologies can be a bit frightening. It might conjure fears of confusion, changing workflows or an inability to complete important tasks. In reality, however, new systems offer more treats than they do tricks.
Telemedicine, for example, gives doctors many more tools and opportunities to expand or improve patient care. By being proactive, you can use a telemedicine system to yield positive results, warding off any fears and capitalizing on a number of tantalizing possibilities. Here is why telemedicine is a real treat for your practice.
Treat No. 1: Improving treatment options
Telemedicine creates more options for supporting the needs of patients. This is especially true for individuals who find it difficult to travel for an in-person appointment. Instead, doctors can connect with patients remotely while still offering high-quality services. This is also useful for anyone who receives ongoing or frequent care. Visiting with a doctor can be difficult, even for patients explicitly in need of care. With telemedicine, however, the process is easier and more comfortable.
The ability to help patients is of course a treat in and of itself, but physicians also benefit from extra time in their schedule. Telemedicine encounters are quick and easy, with tools to integrate tasks related to billing or filling a prescription. Rather than a scary new piece of technology, telemedicine systems give physicians the ability to offer better services in a more efficient way.
Medical professionals will enjoy the benefits offered by telemedicine.
Treat No. 2: Improving patient relationships and promoting preventative care
Connecting with a patient via video conferencing is an intimate way to talk about everything from diet and exercise habits to best practices related to ongoing care. This can certainly help improve patient relationships for doctors and nurses, who may otherwise feel unable to build a positive rapport due to busy schedules. Another delightful treat that telemedicine offers is the ability to regularly work with patients to develop better habits or behaviors.
Preventative health is key for minimizing instances of more complicated or expensive treatments. Similarly, telemedicine is a way to work with patients in identifying any changes in health that could signal a new issue.
Treat No. 3: Creating new business
From a day-to-day perspective, telemedicine gives patients new access to a physician that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. Doctors, meanwhile, benefit from a more efficient way of seeing patients without compromising the quality of care.
In a broader perspective, telemedicine is such a treat for providers because it creates new opportunities to add patients. Rural communities in particular can use a local clinic to connect with a larger practice or hospital many miles away. Providers can leverage telemedicine to treat these patients, many of whom often lack regular access to healthcare. One in five rural patients would directly benefit from the use of telemedicine due to current restrictions or barriers in seeking treatment.
According to the Foley 2014 Telemedicine Survey, 90% of healthcare executives surveyed report that their organizations have begun developing or implementing a telemedicine program. Across the country, providers are opting for the treats that telemedicine offers, understanding that there are no tricks to worry about.