Telemedicine is a relatively new approach to providing healthcare. The patient doesn’t have to visit a hospital for a consultation. Telemedicine allows patients to talk to healthcare providers via a phone call, email, message, or video conference.
Telemedicine helps solve some of the problems in healthcare and it helps patients to receive quality healthcare services even though they’re not physically in the hospitals or with their physicians. While telemedicine has lots of benefits, many people still don’t understand how the system works.
Here are some facts you should know about telemedicine.
1] It’s not a replacement for traditional treatment
Telemedicine doesn’t replace conventional healthcare systems. Far from that, it is an added convenience because it offers an alternative when patients cannot access medical centers. It can be a substitute, such as when you are traveling or don’t have the time to go to the doctor’s office.
Telemedicine is also crucial when you want to check in with your doctor quickly or have questions regarding some symptoms you are experiencing. Talking to a physician will help determine whether you need a further checkup or you are fine.
2] Providing care is a priority
The goal of telemedicine is to help medical doctors to assess the patients before settling on the ideal care to offer them. Therefore, this means that there would be fewer emergency room visits.
During a typical session, the doctor analyzes the patient’s symptoms and decides whether they need to go to the hospital or if a change in medication would suffice.
Telemedicine helps alleviate physicians’ burdens specially during COVID-19 pandemic because those who don’t require urgent need don’t need to go to the hospital and put themselves at risk of contracting the deadly virus.
3] Insurance policies might cover telemedicine care
Many people depend on insurance coverage for their health needs. Whether telehealth will be covered or not is open for discussion.
Currently, most players don’t cater for telemedicine. Therefore, make sure you read your policy before signing it. Major commercial players cover telemedicine in their insurance covers, but as a pilot program. They may continue to cover telemedicine expenses, and smaller firms might also follow suit.
4] Telemedicine law is changing
The current healthcare market is highly competitive, and patients now want high-quality services, convenient access to services, and lower charges. Convenience and cost-effectiveness are critical yet rare in healthcare. Patients usually avoid treatment that is pricey or difficult to access.
That is why telehealth is an emerging technology that is gaining popularity pretty fast. It has even attracted the attention of legislators. Considering that healthcare takes a massive chunk of the national budget, lawmakers should ensure that patients benefit from this new technology despite the competitive marketplace.
5] Telehealth is different from telemedicine
As telemedicine and telehealth continue to gain momentum, people are now using the terms interchangeably. Telemedicine deals with technologies within the clinical setting. Telehealth refers to delivering services to patients, particularly regarding technology that helps to provide treatment.
Depending on the organization, service providers might use varying definitions of telehealth. However, the basic idea is that the patient’s needs should be met. Medical experts, however, agree that telemedicine is an innovative way of managing patients and is advantageous to both patients and providers.