Telemedicine has been around for quite a while, but it has only been now that we are able to enjoy its full effects and benefits. There have been remarkable strides in the field of medicine, and telemedicine is one area that is definitely being developed.
While telemedicine is beneficial to patients, especially those who do not have access to hospitals and specialists, this model is very advantageous to doctors and other medical professionals as well. As technology further evolves, health workers will certainly have more to be thankful for as the scope of telemedicine widens.
Here, we will discuss some of the best benefits that telemedicine offers to doctors. Most of these benefits are tangible in nature, although some, which may even be considered as the best upsides of telemedicine, that are not would be included as well.
One of the benefits of telemedicine is that it allows patients to get quality health care at reduced costs. Doctors may think that this will result in lower revenue, although the reverse is often observed.
Reduced patient costs mean that more patients will be able to consult doctors for cases that they would not usually visit a specialist for. In addition, telemedicine allows doctors to see patients that they otherwise would not meet due to logistical limitations.
Lastly, patients will more likely visit doctors for follow up visits for regular treatment as they are now cheaper when done online. For these reasons, doctors can generally earn more due to the increased number of consultations despite the lower revenue from each visit.
Lower Overhead Costs
As online visits are typically done online, and all data can be sent electronically, doctors no longer need to have a lot of staff such as receptionists on standby. For some, they can even have a private practice as there is no difference between having an office space in the hospital or clinic as they can work from home.
Likewise, doctors can have lower overheads as they would no longer have to spend a lot on utilities which will ramp up if there are a lot of staff and patients around waiting for him. As overhead costs decrease, profits would increase as well.
More Accurate Data for Better Diagnosis and Treatment
One of the most common problems when diagnosing or treating diseases is when incorrect data is being provided. In some cases, it is out of date or does not come fast enough especially for emergency cases. Fortunately, there are wearables and apps that can help resolve those issues.
Hardware and software can now be used by patients to help track the following information:
- Heart rate
- Blood sugar levels
- Number of steps taken
- Sleep quality
These data can immensely help a specialist to determine a person’s physical state as well as a level of activity. This information can be sent automatically to a doctor for monitoring. It can also alert a doctor in the case of situations such as elevated heart rates or spiking blood sugar levels.
Improved Work-Life Balance
Telemedicine is a boon for doctors as they would no longer be required to be cooped up in the office or in their office. Being always available online means that they can be flexible in their schedule, and only be present when they are needed. This will allow them to do other things such as do research or spend time with the family.
Being available online would also mean that they can be available as often as they want without needing to be restricted within a certain area. Doctors can look at patients even while they are on vacation or during a weekend. This gives doctors a work-life balance that they would not get to enjoy before telemedicine.
Less Chance of Infection
Treating a patient always carries with it the risk of infection. Typically, consultations are done within close quarters, and infection rates can be quite high especially if the disease is airborne. This is no longer a problem, though, with telemedicine.
Online consultations are social distancing at its finest, with no chances of a patient infecting the doctor, his staff or other patients. This is especially important during pandemics or epidemics, as these types of consultations can help in preventing the further spread of disease.
Improved Patient Satisfaction
Oftentimes, patients do not comply with follow up visits as going to the doctor may be an inconvenience for them. However, telemedicine removes those limitations, which is why patients can be monitored in a much closer way by specialists. This results in higher success rates for treatment.
Surveys indicate that telemedicine has resulted in higher satisfaction for patients. This means that doctors can do a much better job in handling and engaging with patients, and more diseases are being cured and managed. This is especially important for those that require multiple treatments as well as for those with chronic conditions.
Fewer Cancellations and No Shows
Patient cancellations often mean that doctors will often not be able to see patients that could have acquired that slot. This may also mean lower revenues. However, telemedicine has been able to help solve that by removing the factors that often cause these events to occur.
Studies have shown that there is a reduced number of cancellations and no-shows for patients who utilize telemedicine as their medium for health care. This is because they no longer have to find transport or spend too much time away from work or from family.
Those who suddenly cannot make a physical visit can similarly switch to a remote consultation if they so desire, and this generally has no difference from the usual visit. In fact, this is often desired by the specialists themselves.
As telemedicine grows in scope and coverage, more and more doctors are becoming more used to this technology. As patients keep up with this trend, the mutual benefit grows as well.
In the future, it may not be surprising to see more doctors preferring this model in treating their patients regardless of their medical condition and state due to the advantages that they bring.