Covid-19 changed the medical landscape of the world, perhaps forever, bringing with it new ways to deal with not just the Novel Coronavirus itself, but also with the ways in which healthcare solutions are provided to a large number of people across the world. Technology has advanced exponentially in these past few months and is growing still, as both healthcare workers as well as patients come up against new challenges every day. Globally, the present situation has brought forth a need for a better model for connected care.
Today, patients as well as doctors are trying to find optimum solutions that will cut costs, save time, and offer innovative solutions to problems both old and new. Telemedicine has proven itself as a strategy that fits the bill on all counts.
While patients have seen the benefits of telemedicine with better access to care that saves them both money and time, healthcare providers have found it useful on several counts too.
Improved patient care
Telemedicine has made it easier for the doctors to give follow up care. They are able to provide answers, catch any side effects to medications as well as continue to educate their patients on at-home care. When a patient has a clear and convenient mode of communication with their doctor, it makes medication adherence better too since they can always check in with the clinic in case of any questions about their treatment plan. This in turn means better medical outcomes- a win win for both the patient and the healthcare provider.
Better access to specializations
Telemedicine collapses geographical distances, making it possible for hospitals to expand in a way they could not have with physical structures. Hospitals can now hire remote specialists or expand the reach of facilities within their branches. Doctors can also better communicate amongst each other between various facilities and specialties, gaining from a shared knowledge and services pool.
Covid-19 has claimed the lives of thousands of healthcare workers all over the world. With the possibility of exposure to the virus being high in hospital environments, it is best for both patients and doctors to spend as little time as possible in close proximity. Doctors who are able to use telemedicine significantly reduce their chances of being inadvertently exposed to Coronavirus.
When time is of essence
Telemedicine provides patients an opportunity to discuss their symptoms with the doctor before coming to a medical facility. This is useful in the times of Covid-19 as not all patients need hospitalization and the one’s that do may need to get to a facility very quickly. A doctor can talk to, see, and ascertain the degree of infection and advise the patient accordingly. This not only keeps the patient from infecting others, but it may also save lives.
Time and money
An average doctor visit may not take more than fifteen minutes, but the process of registering a patient and spacing out appointments can make a patient’s visit duration to be upwards of an hour. Not only is this inconvenient and frustrating for the patient, but it also means that the doctor’s office can see far fewer patients in a day. This is a problem that can be handled well by telemedicine as there is no need for a waiting room.
Greater professional satisfaction
Overall, more positive care outcomes translate into better job satisfaction for healthcare providers. With fewer hospital readmissions and better patient support, outreach and feedback, telemedicine is a gamechanger for healthcare providers who understand the priceless support it offers.