What Is Telemedicine: Everything you need to know
Telemedicine allows healthcare experts to assess, analyze and treat patients, a good way of utilizing technology. This practice has experienced a striking evolution somewhat recently.
In Telemedicine, there is a use of electronic communications and software to offer healthcare services to patients without meeting physically. Much of the time is used for follow-up visits, management of chronic conditions, medication management, specialist doctor consultation, and other medical services that can be given remotely through secure video and sound connections.
How Is Telemedicine Different From Telehealth?
The term telehealth consists of a variety of technologies and services to give patient care and improve the healthcare delivery model as a whole. Telehealth is different from telemedicine because it is related to a wider range of remote clinical services than telemedicine.
While telemedicine is specific only to remote healthcare services, telehealth can be remote non-clinical services, eg. medical training, administrative meetings, and medical education, apart from healthcare services.
Benefits Of Telemedicine
Using telemedicine as another option to avoid clinical or hospital visits has benefits for patients and healthcare providers.
Patients avail benefits such as:
- No need to take leave from workplace
- Travelling time and costs can be avoided
- Less interference with child or elder care responsibilities:
- Privacy is completely maintained
- No contact with infected patients or communicable diseases
Healthcare providers get:
: Physicians can use telemedicine to see more patients regularly. For example, during the Covid pandemic, some physicians used their clinics to generate revenue by providing telemedicine visits from the comfort of their homes. Physicians can also stretch their working hours in order to address patient needs.
Improved clinic or hospital overall performance
: Healthcare facilities become more poised with telemedicine to see more patients as compared to in-person visits. Which means it gives more opportunities to improve patient care even in tough times like Covid-19 pandemic.
Better patient follow up and improved patients’ health outcomes
: Managing patients with chronic conditions can be a huge task because of the time required to monitor their health. Telemedicine can improve patient health outcomes by enabling simpler chronic health management via remote technology.
- This is particularly valid for patients who live in rural regions who wouldn’t otherwise be able to get quality treatment without significant travel to far-off healthcare facilities. It is also relevant now, as patients who may be at a higher risk of complications from Covid can limit their exposure to the virus while still receiving care from physicians.
Less cancellations and missed appointments
: Telemedicine is utilized to decrease no-shows by uniting specialists and patients practically without the hindrances that make it more probable for the no-shows to happen. For instance, patients skip an appointment as they don’t want to take off from work, need to take care of a child, or don’t have a vehicle or time to travel to a far-off specialist’s clinic.
- A telemedicine visit reduces appointment cancellation rates by bringing the physician and patient together in a device like a smartphone. Patients can and ought to be seen in their homes virtually, reducing the expenses and time associated with in-person clinic visits.
Application Of Telemedicine
Management of chronic diseases
: The increasing pace of chronic disease is a big problem for the healthcare system. It really makes sense to leverage telemedicine services since it is more affordable for patients to keep up with command over their health.
Storing and sharing medical records
: Storing-and-sharing includes capturing medical data is easy with it. For instance, diagnostic reports or blood analysis images, to be stored and securely transferred to specialists for remote patient care.
- Telemedicine empowers users to capture high-quality medical images, store them, and transfer them in both real-time and in the future.
Management of prescriptions and medications
: For healthcare professionals, medication management is essential, especially among senior citizens. Elder people are bound to forget to take their meds, which is where telemedicine helps.
- Providers and other healthcare professionals can utilize telemedicine to monitor whether their patients have taken their medicine in time or not. Accordingly, this prompts fewer emergency clinic readmissions and improves medication compliance.
Getting a second opinion
: Today, Telemedicine services allow patients to receive a second opinion from the solace of their homes. Transferring another physician’s duplicates of your medical images and more can be performed by uploading files to their protected website.
- It is exceptionally helpful for the people who need a specialist but don’t have the arrangements to travel miles away or stand by for quite a while.
: In natural catastrophe situations, a notable benefit of telemedicine is the capacity to use far-off located healthcare providers when local and in-state available resources are very few.
Who Can Use Telemedicine
: Skin specialists can make their services more accessible to treat patients with medical conditions such as fungal Infections, psoriasis, rosacea, warts, etc.
: A radiologist uses medical images to both analyze and treat illness. Their everyday obligations incorporate working with other medical services experts, which can be very time-consuming. With telemedicine, radiologists can get high-quality images and receive/send updates from any place they are.
: Pink eye, rashes, ear pain, sore throat, and other common symptoms of children can be taken care of by video consultation. Medical practitioners and senior nurses can use it to treat kids.
Mental Health Experts
: Telemedicine empowers individuals with mental conditions to consult physicians in private. It also increases consistency with continuous monitoring of their lifestyle and intake of medicines.
Points To Consider Before Starting A Telemedicine Service
Get a thorough understanding of the basics
: Before setting up a telemedicine practice, a healthcare facility ought to talk with a specialist to figure out what type of hardwares and softwares are required and have a clear understanding of why they need to offer this in any case.
Get proper knowledge about reimbursements and regulatory requirements
: Policies and guidelines in the telemedicine field can be not so clear for providers, vendors, and payers. Companies keen on opting telemedicine should be acquainted with the laws in their state. For instance, some states require assent from patients, while others don’t. Some payers may not pay the same rate for telemedicine consultation as they get for in-person visits.
Choose a telemedicine solution
: A hospital or clinic should decide what type of telemedicine to offer. Then opt for a solution that can effectively respond to their ongoing pain areas, for example, overcrowded sitting areas or trouble reaching patients in provincial regions.
Make a checklist of additional equipment needed
: Healthcare facilities should ensure they have good quality microphones, webcams and speakers. A telemedicine practice should be free of technical glitches. Any sort of miscommunication in conversation between two parties can impact a patient’s health.
Adoption of telemedicine services is totally revolutionary for the healthcare industry. By providing services in remote corners of the world, physicians can increase their reach. It has always empowered patients who face challenges in getting medical care.
To begin a telemedicine practice successfully, real effort lies in research work, training, implementation, and awareness among patients.