Telemedicine is a technological advancement that has changed how operations are carried out between healthcare providers and patients. Healthcare physicians, patients, and payers do benefit largely from the emergence of telemedicine.
The following are some of the benefits of telemedicine.
Increase revenue – With the introduction of telemedicine healthcare providers can expand their services to other areas far away from them if there is a stable internet connection. The physician’s geographical area operations are maximized thus able to reach any area in the world. The efficiency of healthcare is improved as a physician can be deployed to areas where his or her services are in high demand.
A physician can see more patients – Telemedicine software features enable physicians to schedule appointments with patients at a specific time. This saves time as the system can alert both physicians and patients when they have an appointment. The number of patients covered by one physician also increases.
It is convenient – With telemedicine comes convenience to both patients and healthcare providers. It saves time and cost that the patient may have used in traveling to meet a physician physically. A lot of time is saved as the patient does not have to wait outside the physician waiting room, and the system can schedule an appointment at a convenient time for both the physician and patient that fits their current timetable.
Cost-saving – With telemedicine software a physician does not need to have a physical clinic to practice medicine. A healthcare provider can run a virtual clinic from his or her home office, patients can schedule a meeting, or visit the physician when an emergency arises. The telemedicine software can store patient’s health records, the number of visits, payment methods, and many other features. Adopting telemedicine system saves cost by reducing paperwork as the records are digitized and prevent loss of patient’s medical history, and reduces operational costs for running a clinic.
A physician can get a quick second opinion – Time may be running against a patient and a physician may need to quickly get an opinion from another doctor. Telemedicine helps in such situations as doctors can establish a secure video call to get a second opinion thus saving the patient’s life.
Patients love it – With the growth of internet connectivity in the world, every person is embracing technology and utilizing it to seek healthcare solutions. It is a modern trend to communicate with a doctor from any location and a lot of people are being influenced by this lifestyle.
Improved healthcare quality – Patient’s readmission rate reduces with the adoption of telemedicine solutions. This improves the quality of healthcare as physicians can often follow up with their patients. Also, the patients can contact their physicians whenever they feel that something is wrong thus being attended to quickly hindering any further damage to their health.
Disadvantages of telemedicine.
Whereas there are some benefits in telemedicine it is also accompanied by some disadvantages.
Some of these practical and technological challenges include:
Unclear policies – As technology is growing fast every day, it is proving difficult for policymakers to keep up with the industry. There are no clear policies on matters like privacy protection, reimbursement policy, and healthcare laws. Also, every country has different telemedicine laws.
Face to face consultations is few – Order adults and some other individuals are unable to adapt to telemedicine. An error may occur as technology is not 100 percent correct during a consultation with a physician. Also, some patients believe that visiting a physician physically is when they are can get relief. There may also be a power blackout during consultations hindering the process.
Technology is expensive – A lot of training and money is required to adopt telemedicine solutions. It may take a lot of time for the physician to get used to the new systems. The system is expensive to purchase and set up but in the long run, a return on investment should be realized on reduced operational cost, efficiency, and increased patients number.