What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine is the practice of providing clinical care to patients at a distance using telecommunications technology. In other words, it is a method of treating patients using the internet and telephone. This can take the form of real-time video visits, secure email, or remotely monitoring a patient’s vital signs.
Are telemedicine and telehealth the same thing?
The terms telemedicine and telehealth are often used as if they were the same thing, but technically telemedicine is a subset of telehealth. Telehealth also includes non-clinical uses of telecommunications technology such as self monitoring, provider and patient education, and medical records management.
Does a patient have to meet with a provider in-person before a visit can be conducted via video?
This is determined on a state-by-state basis.
Is telemedicine technology difficult to use?
Of course, this depends on the specific application, but in general, telemedicine software is designed to be as easy to use as other familiar modern applications. Patients and providers with a basic familiarity with online apps should be able to quickly figure out how to use a telehealth application.
Is telemedicine private and secure?
Yes, but only when it is conducted using an encrypted platform that was designed for the purpose.
Is the quality of care the same as an in-person visit?
The quality of telemedicine as a method of healthcare delivery is confirmed by decades of research and demonstrations. Telemedicine has been found to be a safe, cost-effective and convenient way to provide healthcare services.
How does telemedicine works?
Download the EMR application, register, read the consent forms, schedule an appointment and get ready to see your doctor virtually.
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
What are some limitations of telemedicine?
Limited Diagnoses and Treatment options
Not for emergencies
No controlled substance prescription
Who benefits from telemedicine?
There are three main beneficiaries of telemedicine:
Patients: Telemedicine gives patients the opportunity to receive care without a trip to the doctor’s office. They don’t have to take time away from work or family responsibilities. They don’t waste time traveling, or money on parking or public transportation. They don’t risk exposure to other patients with communicable illnesses. And they get better health outcomes and become more engaged in their own healthcare.
Providers: Video visits reduce the time of each encounter, allowing providers to see more patients, more efficiently. This boosts revenue and minimize overhead expenses. Telemedicine reduces no-shows and cancellations. It also helps secure patient loyalty in a competitive healthcare landscape.
The Healthcare System: Even if you never use telemedicine yourself, you will likely benefit from the practice. The efficiency of telemedicine will reduce wait-times for in-person visits, help keep people with non-urgent conditions out of the emergency room, and improve the overall health of the population.