Why Is Telemedicine Still Popular After 2020?
The pandemic really accelerated this in 2019-2020, but online delivery of medical services, called Telehealth or Telemedicine has really taken off. What it did is it accelerated the acceptance of this type of conversation, and prior to 2019. Many people would have been hesitant to get you health care information, or a consultation without going in person to see a medical service provider. Whether it’s a doctor, or PA, or somebody else; people want to go in person because they felt like they had to be there in person to diagnose their problem. In fact, more than half of the medical facility visits that are done, don’t require actual observation of symptoms. Doesn’t require biopsies, or lab tests, or anything else. It just requires a conversation about symptoms.
Telehealth orTelemedicine is a great way to do this because the person does not have to physically leave their house.
The travel time each way, even if you only have a half an hour ride to your doctor’s office that eliminates one hour. The other thing that it does is it eliminates that waiting room time. When you get there, it’s not like you walk right into the doctor’s office. Sometimes you have to wait 30/45 minutes because of the backlog of other patients. It eliminates that time. It also eliminates the possible health risk of being around other people that are sick when you go to a doctor or hospital. By definition, the people that are going there other than regular checkups are going there because they have some type of medical event. Now some of those are: physical injuries, you have a sprained ankle, broken bone, etc. Some of them are contagious infections and you don’t want a lot of those people going to the doctor’s office. If they are, you don’t want them going around people that don’t have to go there.
Maybe they need to discuss some other symptom, maybe it’s a problem sleeping, or some other dietary issue. The more you can keep people away from that contagious environment, the better. Telehealth has stepped in to really fast forward that improvement. An article in Barrens, a very high profile business publication, gets into that. Now we’ve all heard this before, but there’s some interesting takes on the Telehealth or Telemedicine phenomenon that are relatively new.
First of all, Telehealth is more than simply a way to avoid contagion.
It’s a way for patients to bolster their existing health routines. Nearly three quarters of Telehealth users state: they would use Telehealth for prescription refills discuss test results, and they believe that the professionalism the provider is comparable to an in-person visit. The quality of care is perceived to be the same, if not better remotely. For the providers, what they’re seeing is: it improves access, efficiency, reduces costs, and enables health care systems to do more good for more people.More people can be reached because a doctor is talking to one person on site, they have to have a 5-15 minute buffer between calls in case it runs over.
Telehealth can kind of crank one right after another, and have very little buffer time in between. Here’s the other part, this is intuitive and it’s obvious but no show rates for in-office appointments are 36%. A third of the people don’t show up for their doctor’s appointment compared to 7% percent for Telehealth. You don’t have to get in a car, you’re not going to get a flat tire, or you’re not going to run late because it was traffic. It’s a lot more likely you’re actually going to meet your appointment. Certainly there are some types of visits that you need to go to in person. If somebody needs to do something like a palpitation, or some type of physical inspection of symptoms. Obviously that needs to be done in person, but many follow-up visits, consultation visits, can be done in advance. Even prescriptions can be done through virtual consultation, and that makes it a lot easier for people to get health care. It removes that volume from the system to free it up for other people that need more urgent in-person consultation.
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