How Does Telemedicine Work ?
How telemedicine works is simple. Telemedicine is the use of technology that enables remote healthcare (telehealth). Basically it makes it possible for physicians to treat patients whenever needed and wherever the patient is, by using a computer or smartphone.
Here are a few of the situations in which telemedicine can be a great alternative to the traditional health care system:
- -Diagnoses of common medical problems such as headache, sore throat, back pain, digestive troubles
- -Inquiries about various medical issues for home treatments
- -Post-treatment checkins or follow up for chronic care
- -Faster refill of short-term medical prescriptions
- -Holidays, weekends, late night or any other situation when regular medical care is not possible
- -Patient inability to leave the house due to sickness or bad weather conditions
So, how does telemedicine work and how does it relate to telehealth? Making use of telemedicine services is very easy. Traditionally, the service uses an online account or a toll-free phone number. Patients request a visit, submitting basic information on their condition, and then the physician either accepts or declines the visit, or schedules it for the future. Telemedicine is a wonderful technology, but may not be suitable for every practice or every situation. Before making use of it, assess your patient’s needs and make sure it’s an appropriate time to use the technology. Gain further insight with a telemedicine demo.
Benefits That Come With the Use of Telemedicine
Patients often lose hours of their day when they make the long commute to the doctor’s office. In some cases, leaving the house to access care just doesn’t seem worth it–like during inclement weather such as heavy rain or snow.
Telemedicine opportunities begin with convenience. With telemedicine, patients can be diagnosed from their homes and in some states have their prescriptions immediately sent to a local pharmacy. This method is not only a time saver, but also a way of getting medical attention whenever needed, and is extremely helpful for patients in rural areas.
Physicians and patients both save money when using telemedicine. Patients don’t see the cost of leaving work that comes with traditional visits, and physicians don’t lose money on cancellations or no-shows. In some cases, the cost of a cash-only telemedicine service is less expensive than an urgent care clinic for patients. Physicians benefit from gaining telemedicine reimbursement they may not otherwise see during off-hours consultations.
Chronic illnesses require patients to spend a lot of time in a doctor’s office, but that isn’t always necessary. With many conditions, renewing a prescription is routine, and not worth a long commute. Or perhaps your patient has a simple cold or mild infection, and the physical exam can be completed via video. In such situations, patients can use telemedicine to find quick treatment, and physicians don’t lose patients to quick-care retail clinics.