Is telehealth really that beneficial? Just a few years ago, many people inside (and outside!) the healthcare industry questioned whether telehealth could provide the same or similar benefits as a face-to-face office visit. As a result of the recent pandemic, many have experienced first-hand the benefits telehealth/telemedicine (used interchangeably) can offer. Today, nearly half of all US doctors utilize telemedicine as a safe and effective way to treat their patients. And this number will only grow in days to come.
While telemedicine may seem like a relatively new buzzword, you may be surprised to learn it has been around for decades. Think about it – doctors have been using the telephone to provide medical advice and treatment plans for patients for many, many years. As communication technology has advanced, telehealth has kept pace with those advancements as well.
But it wasn’t until the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic that people began to recognize its real value. Because coronavirus is highly contagious, many doctors and specialists had no choice but to rely on telemedicine to treat their patients as they were restricted from seeing patients in the office. Telemedicine quite literally helped reduce the spread of a deadly virus, essentially saving an untold number of lives.
If you are struggling with the question,’ Is telehealth really that beneficial?‘ Below are 5 key telehealth benefits and why the healthcare industry continues to embrace them:
Increases Community Outreach
Doctors and specialists benefit greatly from the relationships they build with their patients and local communities. Telehealth platforms can help them increase their outreach beyond the brick-and-mortar clinic. To ensure success, look for a platform that offers easy navigation and patient engagement.
Another reason why people choose telehealth versus traditional in-office visits is because it is cost-effective. Patients save money on transportation and other expenses such associated with traveling to a medical visit (gas, parking, etc…). Doctors and specialists save money as well. Mainly because you can reduce the staff time and expenses that you can associate to facilities. Telehealth has become a cost-effective healthcare solution.
Visiting the doctor requires a lot of time –travel time to the appointment, time in the waiting room, waiting time in the exam room, and then travel time back home. Telemedicine can significantly decrease time spent on in-office doctor’s visits as they can meet the doctor at the scheduled time from any location without any hassle.
Reach People in Distant Locations
It is quite difficult for people living in remote locations to get the best treatment available.
With the advent of telemedicine, it is possible to provide medical services to people living in rural and remote places. People living in remote locations can now connect with a doctor or specialist without traveling from their hometown.
Increase in Revenue
Doctors are not always compensated for the consultation that they do over the phone but telemedicine in place is now able to receive reimbursement for such services. As mentioned above, this can also cut down the overhead costs. When it comes to patients, doctors can now give the best service, knowing they will receive compensation. It is a win-win situation.
Is telehealth really that beneficial? If you are still skeptical about the benefits telehealth offers, we suggest you try it for your next medical appointment and personally experience how it can benefit you. We are certain you will agree it is one of the best advancements in healthcare!