Are you feeling sick? Before you book that appointment at your doctor’s office, you might want to look into telemedicine. As we progress deeper into the age of technology, intelligent people continue to innovate in the healthcare space. Telemedicine is the latest revolution in healthcare that allows doctors to consult with patients from a remote location.
With telemedicine, there’s no more waiting around at doctor’s rooms while you feel terrible. You don’t have to worry about catching someone else’s virus either. All you need to take advantage of the technological revolution in medical treatment is an internet enabled device and a connection to the world wide web.
According to statistics and data from the ATA, there are currently more than 200 telemedicine networks, featuring 3,500 service sites in the United States, with more than half of all hospitals using some form of telemedicine in their practice. Even Medicaid and Medicare cover telemedicine to a certain extent, with 34 States requiring private health insurers to cover telehealth consultations.
Telemedicine is changing the way we interact with healthcare providers and practitioners. Here are nine benefits of using telemedicine for your healthcare needs.
- Search for Healthcare Providers Verified by Your Insurance
While a vast majority of healthcare providers to include telemedicine in their coverage, some still choose to avoid joining the technological revolution. Telemedicine databases allow you to search to see if your healthcare provider covers your virtual care.
This feature cuts down on your out-of-pocket medical expenses and allows you to utilize the healthcare insurance you’re paying for every month.
- Access Specialists for Advice
If you live in a small town or part of the country that does not have the specialist you require, using telemedicine helps you access the right care from the right medical practitioner.
Whether you need to consult with a psychiatrist about your mental health or arrange a procedure with a neurosurgeon, telemedicine affords you the opportunity to reach out to an extensive network of specialists covered by your insurance.
- Compare Healthcare Provider Ratings
When most of us log online to do a bit of shopping, we typically take our time comparing prices between Amazon, Shopify, and other online retailers. So, why don’t we do the same for our medical practitioner? Putting your health in the hands of a physician is a far riskier decision than choosing the bed you’re going to buy with an online retailer.
With this in mind, why don’t we search for the best healthcare online? Telemedicine sites collect reviews from patients and make them available for the public to view. This strategy allows you to vet your choice of a healthcare provider before you arrange an appointment.
- Schedule a Consultation Quickly
Have you ever been deathly ill and tried to book an appointment with your doctor – only to discover they have no openings for the day? Even if you get an appointment – you still need to travel to the doctor’s office and wait in line for them to see you.
With telemedicine, you no longer have to worry about the availability of your doctor when you’re feeling ill. All you need to do is view your doctor’s availability online and book an appointment with a click of your mouse.
- Cut Costs and Lost Time
How many times have you set an appointment at your doctor’s office and arrived on time, only to discover they’re running late? As a result, you have to spend an extra 20 or 30-minutes waiting for them to catch up with their patient flow.
A virtual appointment saves you precious time and money traveling to your doctor’s office. Telemedicine is efficient and effective; now you can see your doctor without leaving the couch.
- Consult Directly with Your Physician
Dealing with your doctor can be an unpleasant experience in some cases. Let’s say you started a new medication yesterday and experience a few complications or side-effects with the drug. Typically, you’ll have to call into your doctor’s office and ask if they are available – which they aren’t most of the time.
Telemedicine solves this problem by providing a secure online chat with your doctor using your mobile device. Contact your physician when it’s convenient for you to do so, and receive a prompt reply from your medical practitioner.
- Easy Access to Medical Records
Most people never get to look at their medical records. Medical healthcare providers file their charts and consultation documents in a complex system with access restricted to medical staff only. Fortunately, telemedicine companies allow their patient’s instant on-demand access to their medical records.
Easily accessible records are vital for other doctors so they can get a sense of your medical history before recommending treatment. Never miss another shot or bloodwork checkup again.
- Search Waiting Times at Emergency Rooms
According to data from the CDC, over 136-million people visited the emergency room or casualty ward of their local hospital in 2017. Can you imagine being involved in a severe accident, only to discover that the queue is out the door on your arrival to the emergency room?
Less than 35-percent of individuals visiting an emergency room receive attention in less than 15-minutes. Telemedicine gives you an accurate snapshot of the waiting times at your nearest emergency room, as well as options for other emergency rooms with less of a waiting period. Avoid the queue and go online to find the help you need.
- Experience Positive Healthcare Outcomes
Telemedicine improves healthcare at both ends of the spectrum. Patients have easier access to doctors, while healthcare practitioners are more efficient at booking and consulting with patients. In some medical fields, such as clinical psychology, therapists can treat patients as effectively as a face-to-face consultation.
Having virtual access to your doctor reduces your risk of exposure to pathogens in doctors waiting rooms, as well as decreasing the number of hospital admissions across the country. Telemedicine continues to improve standards of healthcare and ease of access for patients, and we can expect further advances in this form of electronic consultation in the future.