7 Reasons Why Your Practice Should Be Using Telemedicine Software
The term “telemedicine” is derived from the combination of a Greek word “Tele,” meaning “distance” and a Latin word “mederi” meaning “to heal”. Distance is a constraint for people living in remote areas to access timely, quality healthcare. Telemedicine solution providers attempt to overcome this constraint by bridging the gap between the patient and healthcare provider.
The World Health Organization defines telemedicine as “The delivery of healthcare services, where distance is a critical factor, by all healthcare professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of healthcare providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities”. For example a patient, healthcare provider, or caregiver may use a wireless phone to automatically upload vital signs and send them to a remote monitoring center.
Telemedicine was one of the initial technologies which improved the spread of healthcare services because areas that were considered inaccessible initially were also able to access healthcare facilities. Telemedicine provides clients with a number of beneficial services including provision of instructions, answering of health-related queries, monitoring of vital signals, and video consultation. Many hospitals and doctors have turned to using e-health services for its numerous benefits. As we illustrate below, telemedicine is beneficial to the patient and their family as well as the doctors who choose to utilize it.
Benefits of Telemedicine Software
1. It improves accessibility. Healthcare facilities have easy access to patients living in remote areas. It allows physicians to reach out to patients and expand their services beyond their own clinic.
2. It reduces traveling time. Geographic limitations can be addressed easily due to the fact the neither party has to travel. Both the patient and healthcare provider benefit from not having to sit in traffic to have a consultation.
3. It minimizes costs. It also decreases the number of hospital stays, allowing for shared-health professional staffing that translates into reduced healthcare cost.
4. It reduces stress. Along with the reduction in travel time, it also reduces the stress related to traveling. It improves continuity of patient care as the patient, primary care physician, specialist, and family members may be actively involved during a consultation.
5. It is easy to use. This technology will facilitate better knowledge transfer between experts belonging to the same domain. The simplicity of these cloud-based telemedicine provider services makes them increasingly user-friendly. Even the elderly can use them with great ease.
6. It makes doctors’ lives easier. Doctors can shorten their work hours by opting to leave work a few hours early (if there are no appointments left for the day) and continuing their virtual consultation from home. It can be beneficial for small clinics with few staff members, which get more virtual visits than physical visits. Shorter hours can help clinics to save money on utilities and other costs incurred while keeping the clinic open for physical visits.
7. It provides clinics with a better form of documentation. Off-hour visits are sometimes not documented which can be risky for the doctor for future medical references. Health informatics solves the problem by recording and documenting all virtual visits and providing references when required. The patient has to upload health data recorded on a regular or irregular basis (depending on the health concern) in a web-portal app on their PC or smart device. The web portal, usually managed by a telemedicine provider, has a network of doctors and clinicians who can access the uploaded data. These doctors then diagnose the patient as and when required and help them keep a tab on their health status. This mode of health monitoring is effective for the chronically ill and the geriatric population who have to frequently get checkups. Some conditions like dementia and congestive heart failures require continuous surveillance; telemedicine providers have a solution for that as well, in the form of round-the-clock surveillance services.
By providing so many solutions to patients and doctors, it is easy to see that telemedicine providers have made significant contributions towards the improved health conditions of people globally and will surely continue to do so with each passing day.