Why the Benefits of Telemedicine Go Beyond Saving Money
Once a technological novelty, telemedicine is now a common practise in healthcare institutions throughout the world. As a convenient way of exchanging medical information and consulting from one site to even the most remote ones, telemedicine is hugely beneficial to healthcare and medical management in general.
A Convenient and Cost-Effective Alternative
Starting off as a two-way radio line powered by a dynamo, driven by a set of bicycle pedals in the 1990s, telemedicine has evolved into a highly digitalized and multi-channel service. Today, with the help of the internet, it includes communication paths like two-way video, email, smart phones and other wireless tools. As a standard part of healthcare institutions, telemedicine services are today being provided by hospitals and their specialty departments, as well as by private physician practices and home health agencies.
Such an exchange of information with the help of technology has proven to be a highly cost-effective method of care for both medical facilities and patients. Despite being convenient, this practice radically reduces expenses of treatments simply by evading the traveling costs – being able to communicate from separate sites, both doctors and patients are no longer compelled to spend additional money on regular visits and readmissions.
Additionally, medical facilities may choose to hire new internal staff for the purposes of providing telemedicine services, or may outsource the job to healthcare officials working independently, which consequently unburdens both the current staff from getting new assignments and the budget from extra expenses.
Benefits of Telemedicine that Surpass Money Saving
Still, the benefits of telemedicine go far beyond money saving. As a practise crucial for providing medical services remotely, this type of clinical care is paramount for health officials volunteering on distant locations. When provided to patients living in places with no medical facilities whatsoever, telemedicine saves lives.
Increased Access to Remote Areas
Not only does telemedicine allow patients in isolated areas to receive the healthcare they need and have a right to, but it makes specialty services easily obtainable as well. Limited by distance and unable to travel far, patients in rural areas, even when provided with basic medical care, can reach out to specialists for intensive care concerning a stroke or trauma, for instance. That way, both primary care and specialist referral services, as well as remote patient monitoring are accessible not only to inhabitants of isolated areas, but to homebound patients too.
A Life-Saving Solution that Improves Outcomes
Provided over the phone or via wireless connection, telemedicine is a life-saving solution in cases of medical emergencies. Diagnoses and treatments offered can be conducted much faster than through usual routes, thus improving outcomes and reducing complications, and even mortality rates.
Studies conducted in the field of intensive care, unit care and mental health have statistically proven that the services provided via telemedicine are just as effective, or even more so, as those provided in medical facilities.
Reduced time and costs of traveling are not the only aspects of telemedicine that patients find satisfying. With reliable and always accessible services, telemedicine greatly decreases stress related to yet inexperienced medical conditions and makes medical information and consultations that might not be available otherwise much more obtainable, without any additional mental or emotional strain.
With such benefits of telemedicine being reaffirmed on a daily basis, both medical facilities and patients can allow themselves to feel a bit more secure.
(GoTelecare thanks Samantha Black for contributing this article!)