51 Reasons Why You Should Switch To Telemedicine
Updated: Jul 16, 2019
Telemedicine is currently the fastest growing healthcare solution. Patients are becoming supporters of telemedicine solutions and healthcare providers are realizing that there’s a great demand for telemedicine, and learning how to get reimbursed for the virtual services provided.
If you haven’t made the switch yet, this is the best time to do so. We have gathered 51 reasons why you should switch to telemedicine today!
Better access to healthcare
Telemedicine offers better access to healthcare especially in rural communities, reducing the burden on patients who might need to travel long distances for specialty care. By using telemedicine, these rural communities access specialty care through virtual visits making it easier for them to access better care.
Connect with patients outside the geographic region
Telemedicine offers a bridge to connect patients and their physicians, no matter their location.
Since traveling to receive services becomes a burden on patients, telemedicine offers a great option for those who are unable to travel to seek care.
Cost-effective for patients
Telemedicine offers a less expensive option to in-office visits. It also saves patients the time of sitting in the waiting room and traveling to and from the appointment. Telemedicine solutions can be a huge help for those who have a chronic condition that requires frequent appointments.
Most doctor’s appointments take a little over 2 hours including drive time. Many employers have realized the use of telemedicine helps reduce the lost productivity for all the time a worker takes to get to an appointment. Telemedicine is convenient in a way where the workers can consult their physician from their workplace without have to leave for hours. It also encourages them to be more involved with their health.
Convenience for patients
Telemedicine is convenient for patients because it allows them to receive medical care the same day, and even within an hour or less. Patients also save time driving to and from an appointment, and can also have a prescription sent to their local pharmacy, which also can occur faster than if they visited their physician’s office.
Demand among millennials
Telemedicine is heavily favored by this specific demographic. A Salesforce study found that 60% of millennials support telehealth in place of in-office visits. The study also showed that 74% of millennials prefer booking a virtual appointment versus a face-to-face visit.
Improve patient outcomes
Since telemedicine offers patients a quicker and more efficient way to communicate with their physicians, patients are able to ask questions regarding their medications, or inquire about changing their treatment plan which ultimately leads to better patient outcomes.
Lower cost for patients
A study by Alliance for Connected Care reported that face-to-face visits costs an average of $136 to $176 while virtual visits range from $40 to $50 per visit.
Reduce hospital readmission
Follow-up care is detrimental to avoiding unnecessary Hospital readmissions and ER visits.
Not only it becomes costly for patients, but hospitals can also incur penalties for high readmission rates. Telemedicine makes healthcare more accessible and convenient to patients, especially if they are able to reach a doctor at any time avoiding ER visits.
Boost patient satisfaction
Telemedicine has proven to improve patient satisfaction in many ways. More convenient care means happier patients. When patients are able to stay connected with their doctors, they become more engaged in their care.
Improve patient engagement
Telemedicine allows patients to connect with their doctor more frequently, in a more convenient way, which means more concerns are answered, and patients are more likely to engage and manager their care.
For a physician’s office to save time and money, it is important to ease the workflow. For instance, by being able to access a specialist for a virtual consult, providers minimize spending valuable time trying to first, identify an available specialist, and second, determine the best way to reach the available specialist.
A telemedicine solution gives you the ability to communicate with other physicians and collaborate in case of complicated consultation. It also allows to scale up your practice in size since is less costly and can save you money at higher volumes.
Attract new patients
Patients who are shopping around for a new doctor, are looking for someone who can offer the best care and services that make their experience easier for them. By offering Telemedicine solutions, you will sure attract new patients. Virtual consults could become a marketing strategy for your practice in itself.
Convenient care for patients
It is no news that patients are looking for convenient, accessible care wherever they can get it. A recent survey showed that 76% of patients said they valued convenience and access to care over in-person interactions with a doctor. And 75% of surveyed patients said they were interested in doing a tele-health visit in place of an in-person visit.
Get reimbursed through the Medicare Chronic Care Management Program
We know how critical it is to close monitor chronic conditions, and this is why Medicare introduced the Chronic Care Management program. The program reimburses providers $42.50 per month for 20 minutes of clinical care spent with patients who have two or more chronic illnesses. Since the encounter must be fully documented in order for the provider to receive reimbursement, telemedicine becomes the ideal approach. The program could significantly boost revenue for practices and improve health outcomes for patients with chronic illnesses.
Supplements existing relationship between doctor and patient
Connecting a doctor via virtual visits, opens up the doors to supplementing the already existing relationship between patient and physician. Since it is not a different healthcare provider, the patients feels 100% comfortable with the virtual consultation allowing patients to contact their providers frequently.
Opens new data sources
From e-prescribing to video visits to in the field evaluation of blood testing at a remote village in another continent, the exchange of data and information under the umbrella of telemedicine offers opportunities for effective patient care.
Bring providers together
When you have a team of care providers working together telemedicine tools can become integrated into the process making it easier for providers to collaborate and share data.
Keeps Patients in Your Practice
When your patients need care, you want them to come to you. If your practice is not able to offer care after hours, you will most likely loose patients. One of our health system’s biggest issues is patients showing up showing up the ER, urgent care, or at retail clinics for problems their primary care doctor could easily address. Every visit your patient makes outside your practice, costs you money. And to save you from losing that money, telemedicine extends your hours and increases your availability for urgent care.
Increase preventive care
Nowadays patients are becoming more proactive about their health. For patients with chronic conditions, prevention can be essential to their overall well being. Since chronic conditions require constant monitoring, the more support they receive, the more likely they are to succeed with compliance. Telemedicine makes it much easier and more cost effective for everyone.
Increase continuity care
This is similar to increasing preventive care. In cases where patients need to continue care, it can be expensive for them to constantly visit your practice to continue care. Virtual visits become convenient for patients who need to travel long distances to seek care.
Reduced risk of transmitting diseases
Telemedicine reduces the risk of transmitting contagious diseases. Since you are not sitting in a waiting room in person, other people are not exposed to your infectious diseases, and you are not exposed to the infectious diseases of other patient.
More collaboration among healthcare professionals
Through conferencing capabilities, it is possible to connect more than one health care professional with the patient for determining diagnosis and treatment. This can be particularly important in rural areas, or for certain specialties of care, where the specialist may be located at a far distance from the patient that needs consultation.
Easier follow-up care
Doctors are able to check on the condition and progress of the patient through virtual visits, without either of them having to travel. This can be helpful for those in rural areas where there may be fewer health care providers.
Reduce emergency room visits
By enabling doctors to communicate with patients online, telemedicine can save time for both doctors and patients. This is especially true for injuries and illnesses requiring minimal exams.
By enabling the use of tele-health apps and engage in a two-way video call, doctors can assess patients themselves and make the appropriate recommendations to help patients avoid ER visits.
Free doctor’s schedule
For doctors, telemedicine offers the freedom to take work anywhere. In case they want to consult a patient by virtual visit while traveling or working from home.
Free up staff’s time
Office staff can become more efficient when the daily burden on patients and clinical staff is reduced. Telemedicine helps by increasing the efficiency in the practice, allowing to stay on track with their schedule, reduce wait times, and total appointment length with a video consultation. Less crowded waiting rooms are also a welcome change for your office staff.
Expand patient base
With so many patients frustrated by long wait times, patients are now looking for a new providers that offer easier ways to get care. Virtual visits are perfect to drive patient referrals.
Access to more specialists
A telemedicine solution gives you the ability to communicate with other specialists and collaborate in case of complicated consultation. It also allows easier to scale up your practice in size since is less costly and can save you money at higher volumes.
Fewer outpatient centers and fewer expenses
Telemedicine use can save you on real estate costs associated with owning your practice, including a reduction in outpatient centers if your practice operates multiple locations.
Many telemedicine softwares include patient enrollment, scheduling, billing, etc, allowing you to save money on support staff that you would normally need to do these kinds of tasks.
Streamlined access to care for nursing home patients
Folks in assisted living, or who live in nursing homes, may require more frequent medical attention or consultation, and those with limited mobility are already inconvenienced heavily by the expense and hassle associated with commissioning an ambulance service to and from appointments with both specialists and primary caregivers.
Telemedicine will enable nursing home patients and other elderly patients with mobility issues to more easily access medical care without the difficulty of arranging costly and unpleasant ambulance transportation to the hospital.
Being able to check in on a patient remotely allows physicians to reinforce treatment adherence – which can be a crucial part of preventing unnecessary hospital admissions and maintaining patient health.
Every hour of education a patient is precious. Telemedicine software can allow patients to access educational material that otherwise they would not have if they couldn’t access it online.
Simplify the patient’s experience
The patient experience with a telemedicine provider, on the other hand, removes much of the unwanted barriers to care, allowing the experience to be simplified by technology. Patients often rate their telemedicine experiences higher than the in the personal alternative as they feel empowered to see the provider on their time, when and where they want.
Accelerate practice revenue
When those inevitable no-shows do happen, or an empty block opens up in your appointment calendar, telemedicine helps optimize your billable time. Providers can use telemedicine software to queue up same day appointment requests for the day. It is unrealistic for patients to physically come into your office and wait for an open slot. This means that with telemedicine you can recapture any billable time you would have lost to an inefficient appointment schedule.
Allows for Mental health treatment for children
Evidence suggests that patients are highly satisfied with psychiatric counseling delivered via telemedicine. This is true also for children. Diagnosis and treatment can accurately be performed from anywhere, making care more convenient for caregivers and less upsetting for patients.
Reduced exposure of sick people
Every time a child visits the pediatrician they risk exposure to illnesses suffered by other patients. While this can’t always be avoided, children who are seen remotely are prevented from sharing germs.
It is common for patients with a chronic condition to rely on one or more long-term medications. When a patient starts a new medicine, it can take time to dial in just the right dosage and frequency. It is crucial that patients and providers work together to address any side effects and ensure that the medication is effective and not counter-indicated by any other medicines the patient might need. Video visits are an ideal way to eliminate the barriers to these discussions and allow for active medication management without placing an unnecessary burden on patients or providers. Med checks can be done as frequently as necessary without all of the overhead of an in-person visit.
Provide ICU doctors and nurses with a second set of eyes
Telemedicine technology is increasingly making its way into the intensive care unit. Rather than replace the physical ICU outright, the tele-ICU, as it's called, provides a "second set of eyes" for nurses or physicians who must treat several patients at once amid alarms and other distractions that may make them miss a medication dose, sudden change in blood pressure or other important signal.
Let patients undergo rehab at home
When patients are discharged from the ER or the ICU, the care process is often just beginning. This is especially true for patients who are recovering from a stroke or suffering from other neurological disease such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's or dementia.
The use of telemedicine technology in rehabilitation addresses these issues in several ways— conducting cognitive or psychiatric assessment, leading group therapy sessions (hosted at a clinic or senior citizens' center, for example), providing patients with online resources and remotely monitoring a patient's' pedometer readings to ensure that an exercise regimen is up to par.
Help patients reduce the risk of heart disease
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death around the world. Drug treatments or social/lifestyle changes can help prevent many cases. However, patients must work closely with their doctors to quit smoking, lose weight, change their diet or begin an exercise program, and making frequent office visits can be difficult for both parties. Here, telemedicine technology may be the answer—for example, researchers in Philadelphia found that patients were nearly twice as likely to participate in cardiovascular disease management programs if they could send/receive information to/from a healthcare provider online (as opposed to traditional paper- or office-based information sharing.)
Encourage diabetics to embrace a healthier lifestyle
In the United States, healthcare costs related to diabetes—multiple inpatient and outpatient visits, for example—are close to $100 billion a year. Research from the eHealth Initiative suggests that telemedicine improves the health of diabetics, especially older adults.
To succeed, two things need to happen. First, a physician's interaction with a patient must boost self-efficacy, or the belief that the patient can, in fact, engage in activities that improve glycemic control.
Second, treatment plans must set goals for successfully changing patient behavior—which is becoming increasingly easier thanks to mobile health technology that helps patients count calories, keep an eye on vital signs, log workouts and monitor medication doses and schedules—and nurses and dietitians must check in with patients regularly to monitor their progress.
Empower patients to manage chronic diseases
chronic illnesses account for 75 percent of the $2.2 trillion spent annually on healthcare in the U.S. Investing in better disease management will impact health and financial outcomes, and offering affordable access to virtual care is one way to help these patients receive the treatment they need.
Improve oral health with store-and-forward telemedicine
The main benefit of telemedicine in dentistry is sharing records among dentists and dental specialists to determine if a certain procedure is necessary and, if so, how soon it must take place. Specialists can also help dentists spot problem areas and suggest preventive measures to a patient so that costly, complicated procedures can be avoided.
Link patients and general practitioners to dermatologists
Dermatology is a prime candidate for the use of telemedicine. Teledermatology can be used in a many ways. For instance, by letting patients take a picture of a skin problem and send it directly to dermatologist along with their medical history, they can make an assessment and prescribe the necessary medications. The use of teledermatology can be significantly helpful for rural patients without easy access to a lab or clinic.
Provide mental health consultations to children
The Robert Wood John Foundation and the University of Texas Medical Branch established a Telemedicine for School-Based Mental Health program in Galveston, where the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008 left many children in emotional distress.
The report concluded that teleconferencing counseling session performed very well for the students who prior to the program had never had a consultation with a mental health professional. And nearly 70 percent of parents said the sessions helped their children perform better in school, and the telemedicine program as a whole helped Galveston County fill a need to treat students with severe mental health challenges, the report said.
Improve rural health care around the world
Accessing to specialty care services in rural places it is not only a problem we face in the United States. All around the world patients are unable to access to primary and specialty care services because of their rural location. Telemedicine can expand these services especially in underserved communities.
Saves costs on recurring expenses
With telemedicine, you could have the ability of leaving your practice a few hours earlier or bringing work to the comfort of your home. In turn, this could save your practice money on payroll if your staff is paid hourly. Shortening practice hours may also save on utilities and other costs associated with having your practice physically open for long periods of time.
Lowers medical liability by improving documentation
In a report by Amednews.com showed that 47% of the participating offices reported that medical record documentation was a risk management problem. Often, doctors take off-hours calls or consults with patients after hours and most likely not documenting the visit. With the help of telemedicine software instead, physicians are able to capture necessary documentation for all of those after hours patient consultations. Both, medical professionals and patients can protect themselves financially by preventing malpractice lawsuits and such.
Improve Compliance With Virtual Appointments
Patients that miss office appointments can interrupt your patient flow for the day, and cost you money you could have earned with another patient. Missing appointments it is also a risk for the patients particularly if they miss those appointments to check on prescription and treatment.
Telemedicine offers the perfect alternative that offers patients the care they need without the inconvenience of traveling to an in-person office visit which is one of the main reason why patients miss appointments.
Adopting tele-health solutions can be challenging but by doing so, providers can offer patients better access to higher quality care.