Today’s world is constantly moving meaning people are juggling more responsibilities than ever. Between jobs, household duties, children’s school and sporting events the list can get pretty tiring and undoubtedly somethings may end up being put on the back burner. Many times, one of the things that’s put off is doctor’s visits including healthy check-ups and follow-up visits. When we consider that there are 472,560 primary care physicians total in the United States alone it’s safe to assume that there are no shortages of care, but rather a shortage of time. This means doctor’s offices must implement other ways of streamlining patient care. Telehealth is one of the ways doctor’s offices can do this.
What Exactly Is Telehealth?
Telehealth may be confused with telemedicine, but the two are not the same. Telemedicine revolves around allowing patients to be seen remotely with virtual doctor appointments or virtual medical appointments. Telehealth involves other aspects of the doctor’s office in addition to clinical services. In addition to remote clinical services, telehealth can help family medicine practices administer clinician training, have meetings, and continue education revolving around the medical field.
How Can Telehealth Improve Patient Care?
Doctors’ offices are plentiful in larger cities and specialty doctors are as well. Those who live in larger cities may not find themselves driving incredibly far distances in order to be seen by a specialist, but those who do not live in larger cities may not have the same access to specialty providers. Telehealth can help primary care doctors use telecommunications to allow a patient to visit with a specialist remotely. This can eliminate multiple trips to the specialist where the patient may have to drive long distances to be seen. Since travel is eliminated this also means parents don’t have to miss an entire day of work in order to take their children to a specialist appointment. This, in turn, means that children as well will have less school time missed due to appointments.
How Do Providers Benefit?
One way this service can benefit providers is by saving time. Doctors will not be required to travel to different facilities in order to see patients. Patients that are in the hospital can still be seen without the physician traveling to their location. If physicians are spending less time traveling, they will have more time to focus on patient care. Patient care can be streamlined since the time required for physicians to see patients will be dramatically reduced. This means that more patients can be seen without the added expense of hiring more clinical staff to support the increase in patients. Doctors will have the ability to remotely access all patient records from all specialists. When doctors aren’t calling other doctors waiting on updates they have more time to provide much needed care to their patients.
Both patients and doctors will see the benefits of having and using this service, and those benefits keep increasing. These benefits will make health care easier to access, more efficient and less costly. Physicians’ offices will become more efficient with the ability to see patients, keep up with their medical records, receive valuable training and host virtual meetings rather than in person meetings. The benefits are numerous and only continuing to grow.