Healthcare

Benefits and Disadvantages of Telemedicine for Providers and Patients

Benefits and Disadvantages of Telemedicine for Providers and Patients
Written by Guest Author

With the growing population and complex care requirements. Today’s healthcare system is struggling to provide quality service. Telemedicine and medical billing services offer real-world solutions that can help solve some of these problems in an efficient way. Telemedicine allows you to access many care options, including General Practitioners and Physical Therapy. Some emergency services can also be accessed via telemedicine.

Continue reading to find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of telemedicine.

Telemedicine is a digital service that provides healthcare via smartphones and computers. In most cases, telemedicine uses video conferencing. Some providers prefer to provide care via phone messaging or email.

Telemedicine is often used in conjunction with a regular healthcare provider. Some people access virtual care via a dedicated app for telemedicine.

Telemedicine can be used by both patients and doctors too:

  • Assess whether the patient requires treatment in person
  • Provide certain types of medical care such as mental health treatment, and assessments for minor illnesses
  • Write or renew prescriptions
  • Offer certain types of therapy such as speech or physical therapy

Telemedicine can be helpful when the patient is unable or unable to visit a healthcare facility in person.

Benefits of Telemedicine 

Telemedicine is effective even for severe medical conditions, according to research.

A 2017 meta-statistics and a systematic review of the benefits of telemedicine in treating chronic cardiac failure showed many positive results. These benefits included lower hospital admissions, shorter hospital stays, and fewer deaths.

Below are some benefits that patients and healthcare professionals may enjoy.

Patients Benefits

Telemedicine can be used to treat many medical conditions. Telemedicine is most effective when the patient seeks treatment from a qualified doctor and gives precise details about their symptoms.

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Telemedicine also offers other benefits, such as:

  • Lower Cost: According to studies, telemedicine users spend less time in hospitals, which can lead to cost savings. Additionally, telemedicine may reduce secondary costs such as gas and childcare.
  • Increased Access to Care – Telemedicine allows people with disabilities to have easier access to healthcare. Telemedicine can also improve accessibility for older people, those living in remote areas, and prisoners.
  • Preventive Care: Telemedicine might make it easier to access preventive healthcare to improve your long-term health. This is especially true for those who cannot access quality care due to geographic or financial barriers. A 2012 study on people suffering from coronary disease showed that preventive telemedicine positively impacted health outcomes.
  • Convenience: Telemedicine lets people access healthcare in the privacy and comfort of their own homes. This could mean that people don’t have to miss work or make childcare arrangements.
  • Slowing Down the Spread of Infection. Going to the doctor means you are often around sick people, and it is common for them to be nearby. People with weak immune systems or underlying conditions can find this dangerous. Telemedicine reduces the chance of getting an infection from the doctor’s office.

Benefits for Healthcare

Telemedicine can offer healthcare providers many benefits.

  • Less Overhead Costs: Telemedicine providers may have lower overhead costs. They may be able or willing to pay less for front desk support or invest in office space that has fewer exam rooms.
  • The Additional Revenue Stream for Clinicians: Telemedicine may be a good option to supplement their income as it allows them to care for more patients.
  • Patients are less likely to get sick or infected when they see them remotely.
  • Patient Satisfaction: Patients who don’t have to travel or wait in line for care may feel more at ease with their provider.
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Disadvantages of Telemedicine

Telemedicine might not be suitable for everyone. Telemedicine can have some disadvantages over traditional care methods.

These sections will discuss some of the disadvantages that patients and healthcare professionals face.

Patients are at Risk

Telemedicine may not be the best option for everyone. Telemedicine has its drawbacks.

  • Telemedicine coverage is not covered by all insurance companies. Insurers are required to pay for telemedicine in 26 states. These laws are constantly changing.
  • Protecting patients’ medical information – Hackers or other criminals might be able to access patients’ medical records, mainly if they access telemedicine via a public network.
  • Telemedicine delays: If a person requires emergency care, it is possible to delay accessing telemedicine because a doctor can’t provide digital laboratory tests or life-saving care.

Healthcare Providers Face Disadvantages

  • Telemedicine can also pose a problem for healthcare providers.
  • Licensing issues – State laws can vary, and clinicians might not be allowed to practice medicine in other states, depending on where they are licensed and where the patient lives.
  • Technological issues: It can be challenging to find the right digital platform. A weak connection can also make it difficult for providers to provide quality care. Clinicians need to ensure that the telemedicine program is secure and compliant with privacy laws.
  • Inability to examine patients. Telemedicine providers must rely on the self-reports of patients during telemedicine sessions. Clinicians may need to ask more questions to get a complete health history. This can lead to the demise of treatment if a patient fails to mention a key symptom.

Telemedicine Is Useful When?

Telemedicine is an excellent option for anyone with a condition that doesn’t require lab tests or a physical exam. Telemedicine may even be able to offer psychotherapy and other forms of continuous care..

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Providers may be willing to treat more conditions if there are obstacles to treatment, such as the COVID-19 Pandemic, patients who live far from medical care facilities, or those who cannot transport themselves. A doctor might prescribe antibiotics to treat a possible infection via telemedicine. 

Summary

Telemedicine can be a convenient alternative for those who cannot travel to the doctor’s offices or prefer to remain at home. Patients must verify the credentials of the doctor who provides care.

Remote care can be an excellent option for people suffering from anxiety. Patients must provide complete medical information. If possible, patients should also show any visible signs that may indicate the need for treatment.

 

AUTHOR’S BIO:

Summer Larson’s background in healthcare stretches for over 7 years. He is well-renowned health IT writer who contributes regularly to popular blogs and websites. She covers topics ranging from health reforms to the application of IT in healthcare, such as medical billing services. He is always looking for opportunities to post informative and user-engaging content on high-quality websites.

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