Telemedicine and Telehealth have been the recent buzzwords when it comes to healthcare technology.
Tying in technology to a simple doctor’s visit for a minor issue may seem cold and distant to some, but, when you break down the benefits of getting that lingering issue checked out at a distance, it is clear why Telemedicine is becoming more of the norm.
The benefits for Telemedicine visits extend not only to the patient, but the doctors who are helping you with your issues are benefiting as well, making this a win-win situation for all.
Read on to learn how an online telemedicine visit can be a good thing for everyone involved.
1. Less exposure from sick people venturing out
This is a big one.
Even if you are only going to the doctor to get that discolored toenail checked out, you would likely still have to hang out in the waiting room for a bit, and then in the visit room while meeting with the doctor.
Doctor’s offices are made for people who are sick (shocker), and some of these people may be sick with something that can spread on surfaces or in the environment if they are coughing and sneezing.
So, if you need some medical attention for a minor non-infectious issue, staying home for the visit is the best way to make sure you aren’t picking up anything while seeing the doc.
On the flip side, if you are pretty sure that you have a cold sore that has cropped up or something else that is infectious but not very serious, you staying home and using telemedicine is the best way to prevent spreading things to other people in the office — including your doctor.
2. The costs are up-front and clear cut
For many, the cost of a doctor’s visit may be cloudy.
You may not know what the costs are until the visit is over, and there may be lots of additional fees for various tests, prescriptions, even parking at the facility.
With Telemedicine visits, the cost for the online visit and any prescription you may need are disclosed right up front, and if you are not ok with them, you simply don’t have to have the visit.
This makes things better for the doctors who you are visiting with as well, as they don’t want to have a back and forth about costs, they just want to help fix your issue.
3. The visits are usually quick and nearly immediate
Time is important for everyone, so any time that can be saved by forgoing boring office waits and commutes is welcome.For the patient, this saves getting to and from the office, waiting around in the waiting room, only to then drive to the pharmacy and probably wait there some more.
All of this time is all probably during the workday, meaning that hourly wages are lost. For doctors, they are able to essentially hold back-to-back visits and be more efficient during their day, without having to discuss with the nurses which patient is next, figure out if the next visit is late, or navigate to the right room in the office.
With Telemedicine visits, your visit is normally just a few minutes away once you navigate to a site that specializes in treating the condition at hand.
Time is money, and this can save both for you and your physician.
4. Patients are less likely to ignore little health issues
You have heard the story before, someone has a minor health issue that bugs them, but they are just hoping it goes away and they are avoiding taking the time, money, and energy to go to an in-person office visit.
Some minor health conditions may seem minor, but when they are ignored and not looked into, they can progress to more serious issues.Having an online resource to get small issues checked out with less of a hassle may encourage those visit-avoiders to nip things in the bud.
This helps give relief to the patient while making the doctor’s job easier by fixing things while they are minor (or spotting the sign for potential underlying problems early).
5. Any prescriptions are normally mailed to your front door
Anyone who has ever been to a run-of-the-mill in-person doctor’s appointment knows that the errands don’t stop after you leave the office, next comes the journey to your preferred pharmacy, and a potential wait and back and forth with the pharmacist and/or your insurance before you can head home and begin treatment.
This is a headache for many people who need to get back to work or are not feeling well to begin with.With many Telemedicine platforms, they don’t only streamline the doctor’s visit by moving it online, most will also arrange any prescriptions you may need with a pharmacy that will either mail it to your front door in a few days or arrange a quick pickup at your local pharmacy if you need the medication immediately.
Telemedicine is relatively new, and for some people, it may seem cold, clinical, and frightening.But, the technology is here to move minor office visits for non-urgent conditions online, and the benefits to both the patients and doctors are evident.
Less exposure and transmission of infectious diseases, upfront costs, quick and easy visits, time savings, less avoidance of “going to the doctor”, and prescriptions shipped to you are just some of the ways that Telemedicine is good for patients and their provider, and just may be a good fit for you, too.