Healthcare is a critical aspect of maintaining a productive populace. Nonetheless, it is not as straightforward as it might seem, a concept highlighted by the global Covid-19 pandemic. Doctor visits aren’t always convenient or affordable. This is more so for communities in rural settings or those battling chronic conditions, especially older adults. So, how can the healthcare industry keep up with the ever-rising medical care needs?
Telehealth has proven to be an invaluable tool in the medical care industry. The approach entails using audio or visual (or both) technology to manage doctors’ visits. This means patients don’t have to commute to the doctor’s office, a significant contribution, especially considering the cost of telehealth and the monetary savings realized. Furthermore, with the ever-advancing technology, telehealth is more accessible, even to hardly tech-savvy users.
In the recent past, telehealth has mainly served users in rural and underserved areas. Today, its popularity continues to skyrocket, attributed to the many benefits patients and healthcare practitioners realize. Among the contributions that continue to propel its popularity and show why it is now more vital than ever include:
Detailed medical record
Healthcare, especially when managing chronic conditions, is challenged by the lack of rich patients’ medical data. If, for example, a diabetes patient notices a new symptom that doesn’t seem to pose significant problems, they can easily overlook it. When a doctor’s visit is due, such a symptom has likely slipped off their mind. What does this mean; a missed opportunity, since that symptom could signal a developing diabetes complication.
With telehealth, patients can call or message a doctor immediately after they notice a symptom, have it screened, and get recommendations to handle it and avoid potential complications. This enriches their medical data, improving the quality of care given. This is a significant step, especially in today’s medical field, where new infections keep popping up.
The doctor’s office is a great space to get the needed medical care. Nonetheless, it is also a germs hotspot. All sorts of patients visit the office, leaving traces of germs. Even thorough disinfection doesn’t guarantee that the person you brushed shoulders with is germs-free. Infections can spread and make you sick, especially since your immunity may not be at its best during such instances.
It is not just the patients who are in danger, though. The medical practitioner is also exposed to such germs. See how movement restrictions have helped combat the Covid-19 spread? It is no secret that avoiding physical contact is a great way to prevent infections from spreading. This is among the great telehealth benefits proving its importance today and for the years to come.
Healthcare is not cheap. Medical institutions need certain supplies whose costs get transferred to patients. For example, they need beds and bedding, medicine, a medical system, and personal protective equipment. Telehealth helps lower the costs, such as eliminating the need for more physical contact requiring PPEs or hospital admissions. It also lessens the load on healthcare systems.
Low-risk patients can receive effective medical care from home, saving valuable bed space and supplies. Even when admitted, doctors can attend to the patient through audio-visual means. This minimizes physical contact, an infection spread, and the equipment needed. Such cost-effectiveness facilitates better medical care access, proving the importance of telehealth.
How often do you seek medical attention? Most people only see a doctor when ill. You have a perfect excuse, such as dealing with a packed schedule. Telehealth offers more convenience, allowing you to seek medical attention from home or office. Scheduling an appointment is easier. Since you don’t have to commute, the session can fit well within your busy schedule.
You can even loop in your relatives from across the state for the virtual doctor’s visit, allowing you to squeeze the most out of a session. This is more so if you need help, such as asking relevant questions. Moreover, since you are in a familiar and comfortable setting, you won’t be as tense as you would in a doctor’s office. Eliminating anxiety during the visit makes it more productive, improving the quality of care received.
Telehealth is going nowhere. It is only getting better, with more advancements making it easier to include more specialties. With the undeniable contributions, telehealth is now more important than ever and will continue to improve and offer more to patients and medical practitioners. Leveraging technology to deliver medical care at a distance is no longer a fancy addition. Telehealth is now more important, and its use will only continue to grow with fewer regulatory barriers.