With our current restrictive measures in place to address the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the immunocompromised and those with chronic conditions are confronting pandemic-exclusive challenges in requesting and receiving medical care services, as Instacares are flooded by potential COVID-19 patients and wait times skyrocket.
Thankfully, the medical arenas of telemedicine and addiction treatment are merging in response to quarantine procedures and CDC guidelines that have redefined a new normal. With recommendations of six feet of distance and religious mask wear, telemedicine has been there to step in and fill the gaps by providing ongoing communication, support, and advice for all sorts of mental and physical health needs.
Telemedicine works to improve patient/caregiver communication, reduce the need for travel, overcome geographic barriers, and provide ongoing assistance and support in achieving optimal health and wellness.
With buzzing news reports and political polarization, staying updated on the latest-and-greatest in telemedicine can be difficult among the noise of CDC guidelines, forming legislation, proposed stimulus packages, etc. What other innovations in telemedicine are on the agenda? How can telemedicine affect your ability to receive quality healthcare from the comfort and safety of your own home?
Here are some cutting-edge ways that telemedicine is supporting worldwide health, one interaction at a time:
It lengthens and strengthens treatment protocols
One of the areas most significantly impacted by these recent changes is that of. Pre-pandemic, a patient would have to attend 30-, 60- or 90-day inpatient treatment programs to receive care. However, in the wake of telemedicine, the possibility of receiving ongoing support and care in the comfort of your own home has opened up.
With the aid of telemedicine, patients are able to connect with caregivers for longer periods of time. As a result of this additional support, the probability of recovery and ongoing success with sobriety surges.
It increases accessibility and efficiency
Thanks to worldwide connectivity and a commitment to evolving practice, the field of telemedicine has significantly extended opportunities for healthcare to virtually anyone with an internet connection. For those living in rural areas with little access to quality care, this innovation may have lifesaving effects, as patients are able to connect with the doctor or provider of their choice and receive efficient, high-quality care Delivering these services in a more time-efficient way allows doctors and providers to see many more patients in a single day, as compared to their in-person clinical work. Seeing more patients per day better serves the community and promotes healthy lifestyles in more American families.
It helps to reduce care costs
Telemedicine plays a significant role in helping keep healthcare costs affordable for patients. Those who are able to manage their chronic conditions at home actually lower operating costs for hospitals and clinics, allowing these systems to function more efficiently. For patients, the reduced costs of travel and hospital stays make it a much more attractive option for care.
It helps to improve patient outcomes
Several recent studies point to a desire to connect with caregivers virtually. The convenience of being able to connect virtually reduces ongoing excuses such as cost, inconvenience, fear, and the inability to carve out time.
With these excuses out of the way, patient care and outcomes are significantly improved. Those working folks, single parents, or those suffering from iatrophobia (the fear of doctors) who previously neglected routine check-ups will find themselves more willing to connect with doctors on a regular basis, rather than only visiting when symptoms become too severe to ignore.
It reduces the possibility of burnout for doctors
The medical industry is a demanding field. Doctors and caregivers alike put in long hours, endure stressful situations, and are called on to make difficult decisions at a moment’s notice. With compounding stressors, the possibility of burnout spikes.
With the assistance of telemedicine, doctors are able to serve patients in a relaxed manner and are able to open up additional revenue streams for themselves by offering telemedicine services, in addition to clinical work. With less stress on their plates and more efficient systems, great doctors are encouraged to maintain their above-and-beyond work ethics. In turn, patients will receive quality care at affordable prices.
It increases the efficiency of data exchange
Managing patient data has always been a challenging aspect of medical care. Absolute integrity in communication and documentation must be preserved in order to ensure the highest standards of care. Data such as lab results, prescription history, medical records, and care appointments are all analyzed for the purpose of making the best decisions regarding health and healing.
Telemedicine brings the best parts of data collection and data sharing in full view for both doctor and patient. When all parties involved have access to this information, it becomes much easier to uncover innovative care solutions.
With all the exciting innovations and improvements that are sprouting as a result of telemedicine, we owe it to ourselves to explore this new technology and open ourselves up to the possibilities that invite health and healing. Exciting times are ahead. Take advantage of technological developments in this global pandemic era, and embrace your most vibrant health.