Virtual Healthcare is Improving the Doctor “Office” Visit
We have seen a shift in patient care. Telehealth and remote patient monitoring had been utilized in the past and were seeing a steady rise in usage. That was prior to Covid-19 wreaking havoc on the world. Since then, both telehealth and RPM usage has exploded and become widely accepted means of receiving quality healthcare. Virtual visits are now preferred by many patients and health practitioners alike.
Face to face visits between doctors and patients will always be necessary, but there are many reasons why virtual visits are now a valuable part of a comprehensive healthcare plan to monitor patients between those physical in-person interactions. We look at the top reasons below.
Enhanced Work-Life Balance
Doctors do not need to be in their office in order to provide patient care (and get paid). This can be accomplished from home or even while travelling. Patients do not have to take time off from work or spend time driving to and from their appointment.
The Need for Speed
Previously patients had to make an appointment to see their primary doctor and wait a couple days before being seen. Now the patient can get a response from a physician within an hour or less typically and receive proper treatment or be referred to an ER if needed.
Access to Realtime Data
Remote patient monitoring devices can provide biometric readings of things like blood pressure, heart rate, glucose levels, and weight. By monitoring this vital patient data between visits, doctors can alert patients quicker if they spot any sudden changes in the data received.
Better Engagement and Collaboration
Previously, a doctor could only provide care to those that came into their office to get treated. Virtually, that same doctor can reach out to multiple patients to check-in. If a doctor needs the opinion or expertise of a colleague, having the details recorded virtually is helpful so nothing is misinterpreted when the doctor explains the details.
More Efficient Patient Care
Physicians are not limited to patients that are within driving distance of their office. Now they can vastly increase their capacity to help patients in any given day.
Better Insight into Patient Lifestyle
Through video consultations, a doctor gets a better overall view into the daily life of a patient and their lifestyle. This additional insight can be valuable in recommending changes to the patient that improve outcomes.
Avoid Scheduling Issues
We have all been there. You have an appointment with your doctor at 2:00. You check in 15 minutes early and are waiting patiently in the office… for an hour. Scheduling in-office visits is more difficult since doctors are estimating the time it will take to treat each patient. Virtually, a doctor can manage multiple patients at once and respond as needed.
Comprehensive Access to Medical Records
For years, physicians have only been able to access records that patients provide or those that are in their system. Online medical records allow doctors to get a more comprehensive overview of a patient’s medical history.
Virtual care costs are much lower than they are for in-person care. In-person care requires additional personnel, a physical office location, exam rooms and equipment. A doctor only needs a tablet or app on their phone to provide care virtually. Remote patient monitoring programs have demonstrated the ability to significantly inhibit wasteful spending by reducing unnecessary office visits, ER visits, and hospitalizations.
This is what it is all about. Achieving better outcomes for patients. Many patients, unfortunately, avoid seeking treatment until things are much more difficult and costly to manage. Through virtual monitoring and regular interactions with their healthcare provider, patients have improved outcomes and are less costly to care for.
We will see rapid improvements in virtual healthcare as adoption of these tools continues to rise. While telehealth and remote patient monitoring are effective methods to enhance patient care and improve outcomes, they are meant to complement those in-person visits with healthcare professionals, not replace them.