In present-day society convenience is the goal for many when it comes to navigating daily activities. Advancements in technology have allowed for voice automated home systems and self-driving cars to assist with our daily routines, making the emergence of the Telemedicine industry the obvious next in line to make life that much easier. Telemedicine bridges the gap between medical professionals and patients, allowing access to remote processes, such as medical assessments, diagnoses and treatments via computers, digital cameras, and phones.
In the current climate of remote work, many patients prefer options like telemedicine over in-person interactions with healthcare providers. According to Chiron Medical Company, “Studies have shown that telemedicine promotes continuity of care, decreases the cost of care, and improves overall clinical outcomes.” (Leonard Egede, M.D.2016). Telemedicine simplifies the health care processes by allowing for on demand care minus the waiting rooms, and without significant time off work. One could have virtual care in the comfort of one’s own home, at the office, or while on recreation in the park. In addition, Telemedicine platforms can connect patients, in rural and urban areas alike, with specialists who cater to their specific healthcare needs.
Telemedicine also increases the engagement between health care providers and patients, eliminating the intimidation factor some feel during in person visits; virtual visits allow for the patient to be more comfortable. This often leads to them asking more questions and becoming more engaged in their own personal health. Virtual platforms allow healthcare providers to communicate almost instantaneously with their patients and report adverse findings or early warning signs sooner. With real time virtual consultations, the rate at which patients can be diagnosed and treated increases dramatically, leading to improved patient outcomes.
As impactful as telemedicine can be, it still has its kinks to work out. The British Medical Journal stated the main disadvantages are erosion of the clinician–patient relationship and concerns around quality of care. (Purohit et al., 2021) There are mixed reports on the quality of care provided by telemedicine; some report improved or maintained standards of care, whereas others found a reduction in quality of care compared to face to face interactions. An emphasis was especially placed on the elderly who tend to prefer the traditional clinician- patient relationship.
While there are many patients and providers alike who prefer in person interactions and many medical instances that warrant face-to-face visits, it is hard to ignore the fast-paced new industry of Telemedicine. Telemedicine will not encompass all medical encounters; most procedures still need to be done in office, but for general visits, follow-ups, uncomplicated cases, and the like, telemedicine will prove to be the next best option to promote scheduling convenience, improve patient access and drive overall faster treatment times.
If you or anyone you know need medical services, follow the link below to book your Telemedicine visit today with Benevolent Healthcare Services.
By: Jamaal Williams