As the country is changing the way it operates due to COVID-19, there has been a rise of telehealth, and these 6 telemedicine benefits show how it can positively impact both patients and practitioners.
The US is facing a serious public health crisis in the form of COVID-19. With most of the country abiding by stay-at-home orders, save for essential services, many Americans with chronic health conditions who rely on regular visits to the local doctor or a nearby clinic find themselves worried about their immediate future.
To help provide critical medical care and organize the delivery of necessary medications, healthcare providers around the country are turning to telemedicine as an effective means to continue caring for the country’s most vulnerable. There are many telemedicine benefits for both patients and practitioners.
Enforcing Stay-At-Home Rules
The people who require ongoing medical care the most are often also the people who would suffer the most from contracting COVID-19. The disease, caused by a novel coronavirus, attacks and affects the body’s respiratory system and heart, posing a greater threat to people with autoimmune conditions, diabetes, asthma, cancer, and other debilitating and chronic health problems.
Telemedicine is important to help people who are at-risk stay at home.
Keeping Clinic & ICU Capacity High
By curbing the rate at which the virus burns through the population, the government is slowing down the rate at which infections spread. This is important to ensure that those who do get sick are not turned down by medical services because all nearby clinics and hospitals are at-capacity and cannot accept any more patients.
While the death rate for the virus is low, and it rarely causes complications among younger patients, this helps the virus spread faster and gravely affect those who are more likely to encounter complications during an infection. But one of the biggest telemedicine benefits is that it can help slow the spread of the virus and reduce the rate at which hospital ICUs are filling up.
Improved Medication Adherence & Health Monitoring
By leveraging existing and new technologies, healthcare providers can more easily check up on their patients through telehealth services, stimulating medication adherence.
Secure, encrypted web-based platforms that can easily be accessed by physicians via in-office computers and their phone alike allow them to track and monitor the wellbeing of their most at-risk patients, and provide timely remote care (or immediate medical attention, in the case of an emergency).
Improved Access to Healthcare Services
Some of the barriers to better healthcare for people include cost and geographical distance. This is especially true for the elderly and those with functional mobility issues because of a disability.
One of the most beneficial telemedicine benefits is that it can greatly reduce both the cost and the importance of distance, reserving the need to make a physical appointment with a doctor for certain cases of diagnosis or treatment.
Convenience & Ease of Use
Web-based applications for the management and care of patients have grown in viability. Physicians can now store and pull information from the cloud without worrying about it being stored digitally on a single device, all while relying on secure encryption to protect against data theft and ensure HIPAA compliance.
Such web-based solutions are easy-to-use, and provide convenience for the physician and the patient alike, as patients can get in touch with their doctors without worrying about transportation costs, time away from home, risk of infection, or childcare while at the doctor’s.
Simple No-Contact Medication Delivery
Initial stockpiles are running low, and many patients who need access to critical medication to control their chronic condition are seeking solutions. Medication delivery is an important part of stopping the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring that the most vulnerable among us can stay at home, by bringing medication straight to their doorsteps, or by organizing no-contact curbside medication pickups so patients can safely retrieve their medication without endangering their health in the process.
This will continue to be an important service in the future, for patients who cannot afford to make the trip to a local pharmacy or the doctor’s office.
Other Telemedicine Benefits
COVID-19 has greatly accelerated the adoption and implementation of telemedicine as an effective alternative in the continued care of chronic and urgent health issues. Previous barriers to access, such as limited coverage through most public and private insurance providers, have been addressed and set aside given the current circumstances.
This greatly reduces the two major problems that telemedicine services had in the past, namely availability and cost of implementation for providers. With smarter, more efficient telemedicine solutions cropping up throughout the industry, the shift to telehealth will have a lasting impact, even after this crisis is over.
Telemedicine is no replacement to an in-person interaction with a physician, and diagnostic medicine suffers as it becomes harder to collect and test samples over physical distances. But there are many telemedicine benefits and it acts as an auxiliary service and crucial alternative. There has never been greater need than today – and it will continue to reduce costs and improve convenience for many patients in years to come.
Proficient Rx specializes in helping physicians provide in-office dispensing services to patients in need and is now providing virtual telehealth services to our providers. We provide repackaged FDA-approved brand, generic, and prescription drugs, and help physicians and healthcare providers quickly organize and implement point-of-care dispensing via a simple-to-use web-based dispensing platform.