10 (Most Important) Telemedicine Benefits
Telemedicine benefits far outweigh concerns that many have. Seeing patients in person for every issue they may have may soon be a thing of the past thanks to telemedicine.
Medical practices, hospitals and medical practices are adopting telemedicine rapidly and its expected to expand by 18.5 percent between 2018 and 2023.
That’s because telemedicine allows doctors and medical staff to use technology to help treat, evaluate and diagnose patients from afar. The great news is that there are also several advantages that telemedicine can bring. Here are 10 telemedicine benefits to consider.
1. Less Exposure to Illnesses From Patients
When you work in the medical field, you’re more prone exposure to illnesses. In fact, the CDC recognizes that healthcare staff who work in long-term facilities and nursing homes as high risk for contracting the flu.
But telemedicine helps reduce potential of exposure to germs and contagious diseases. You can diagnose or suggest a treatment plan from afar and reduce your chances of getting sick from patients.
2. Increased Flexibility
Telemedicine offers more flexible options for monitoring patients and enhancing patient care, including options to leverage technology for helping patients prevent unnecessary emergency room visits. About 65 percent of hospitals in the United States already video and other forms of technology to connect with their patients thanks to the flexibility it brings.
You can provide services via an app that leverages instant messaging or a platform that supports video conferences. Patients can also be mobile and you can work from different locations. Telemedicine provides the flexibility medical staff need to facilitate a healthy work life balance, too.
For instance, you can schedule appointments for weekends with patients or during hours that best suit the needs of both you and your patients.
3. Access to Specialists
Approximately 60 million people—about 19.3 percent of the U.S. population—live in the rural United States, and access to health care is an underlying issue. However, telemedicine is helping to help bridge the gap by providing access to specialists.
For instance, rural customers can discuss medical history with their specialist in a video conference who can also inquire further about their ailments and hear it for themselves rather than waiting from the information from your nurse or doctor. This helps the specialist to better determine the proper diagnosis and prescription to provide.
4. Increased Revenue Potential
With more access to patients in rural areas and during hours that accommodate them with the help of telemedicine, you can see more patients. This is due to fact that it will take medical staff less time per patient to provide consulting services patients during e-visits.
This enhances productivity and efficiency so that you can see more patients without increasing your office hours. More patients seen can also drive revenue potential.
5. Reduced “No-Shows”
When patients don’t show up to an office visit, it can cost lost revenue potential. From car problems to traffic jams, patients have several reasons for not showing up to an appointment. Work obligations and a lack of childcare may also explain these missed appointments.
However, telemedicine can help curb missed appointments. With this option, patients are less likely to have no shows since it telemedicine helps eliminate transportation problems for patients. It’s also helping rural workers save approximately $3,431 in lost wages and $5,718 in transportation costs each year.
6. Competitive Advantage
With the recent boom in retail clinics and urgent care centers, telemedicine offers medical practices a competitive advantage. When you offer a valuable service that your patients can leverage to save them time and money, you can become more attractive and be the reason behind why they choose your practice over your competitors’.
7. Enhanced Payment Collection
Collecting payments in office can be difficult when patients don’t have the cash on hand. However, telemedicine can support increased payment collection. For instance, a patient can make payments up front with their debit or credit card before receiving services.
Telemedicine platforms can also facilitate different payment forms, such as prepaid cards and accounts. This helps ensure your practice is receiving payments as the service is provided.
8. Attracting New Patients and Retaining Existing Ones
By being able to see more patients, you help increase engagement and improve the retention of your existing patients with the help of telemedicine. Even when existing patients move away, they can still use the service. You can also attract new patients, too.
More employers are also opting to offer coverage for telemedicine services as it may save money for both the company and employee. This provides additional opportunities for attracting new patients.
9. Happier Workplace
Since a high number of your patients will be using this technology the office will not be as crowded as before. This helps reduce the workload for your internal staff and the stress that comes along with it. That means you’ll have happier employees who can focus and be more productive.
10. Cost Efficiency
Telemedicine services offer cost efficiency thanks to its ability to help you scale patients while saving time. A Red Quill consulting survey revealed that telemedicine services offerings saving potentials of $100 per patient visit with virtual office visiting ranging between $40 to $50 per visit.
This saves the patient money and encourages more office visits. It’s also helping hospitals save $20,841 in expenses.