Healthcare organizations should be talking about and exploring telemedicine services if they haven't made the transition yet. Since patient convenience has become an increasing demand, it's worth studying how smart technology is continuously creating new conveniences. Healthcare through online resources cuts travel costs, saves time, and addresses health issues more quickly.
Many hospitals were forced to speed up adoption of telemedicine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It became the clear solution to overcrowded emergency rooms and social distancing. Telemedicine, though based on remote digital communication, actually brings the doctor and patient closer together as it offers them the opportunity to connect more often.
Increasing Convenience and More Efficient Health Care
When a patient utilizes telemedicine services, they can take greater control of their schedule in relation to doctor visits. The patient can schedule an appointment on their smartphone and receive alerts from the doctor's office leading up to the meeting. On the day of the appointment, the patient can monitor the waiting room list remotely. This capability reduces waiting time at the hospital and allows the patient to plan a tighter or more flexible schedule.
Telemedicine also saves time during emergencies. A wearable monitoring device with IoT sensors for heart rate and blood pressure can alert hospitals of any issues in real-time. This gives hospital personnel the ability to provide urgent care much more quickly. And the impact of this faster response can equate to many more lives saved during emergencies.
Toward Virtual Care and More Affordable Options
Virtual doctor visits are steadily reducing the number of in-person visits. Not all trips to the hospital are necessary when you can use digital communication instead. If all a patient needs to do is fill out forms, it can be done remotely online. Email, messaging, and video calls are all options if the doctor and patient simply need to have a conversation about topics like treatment instructions. Physical exams can still be performed in-person, although video conferencing technology opens the door for virtual exams.
By using telehealth, patients can increase the number of options they have for affordable treatments. And the faster communication between doctor and patient can help speed up recovery time, which will also help lower medical bills.
Improving Quality of Patient Care
Patients are attracted to telehealth for numerous reasons. A recent study by Texas State University found that the top reasons patients gave as to why they pursued telehealth were improved results, preferred modality, ease of use, lower costs, and better communication. Another study by eVisit found that 95 percent of respondents who used telehealth services reported a positive experience.
In the future, the keys to making patient care even better will involve standardizing and improving digital tools to make virtual visits more practical and effective. Studies have so far been mixed as to how much virtual meetings help patients, but in the future, doctors will have much more patient information at their fingertips. The combination of bigger data collection and greater connectivity through 5G will significantly improve virtual capabilities.
A growing number of patient surveys show that consumers are becoming more aware of telemedicine as a choice. Research has shown that over 65 percent of people who have experienced telemedicine are satisfied by it. One of the strongest arguments for telemedicine is it creates a closer and even more personalized relationship with the doctor.
The growth of telemedicine services this year has been significant due the current health crisis, and continued development of these services are set to upgrade the healthcare industry even more in the very near future. This modern form of healthcare is sure to become omnipresent since it gives patients better outcomes and options. The more digital a healthcare organization gets using smart technology, the more prepared it will be for telehealth becoming the norm.