When you think about how telemedicine might benefit both providers and patients, there are a few things that probably come to mind right away. Patients don’t have to miss work or arrange childcare. They don’t have to waste time or spend money getting into the doctor’s office, and they avoid sitting around in waiting rooms where they might be exposed to illness. For the provider, the solution offers a way to see more patients in less time, expand office hours, or work from anywhere.
Those are all excellent reasons to consider a telemedicine solution for your practice. Those who have done it have enjoyed them all. But they’ve also found a few more surprising ways that video visits help improve the practice and strengthen patient relationships.
Here are a few:
Video visits allow you to focus on the main concern of the appointment through short, focused interactions.
Yep, people tend to chit-chat less or wander off topic when they are on a remote visit. The patient and provider alike tend to stick to the matter at hand, getting the patient exactly the advice they need without all of the time-consuming overhead associated with an in-person visit. This focus is a win for both the provider and the patient.
Patients feel more comfortable discussing tough topics because they meet online, on neutral grounds.
A physician’s office is a very intimidating place for many patients. People tend to be more relaxed when they are in control of their environment. This can be very helpful when the subject of the visit is something that the patient finds embarrassing or sensitive.
Telemedicine helps practices attract desirable patients.
Patients who are technically savvy and motivated to stay healthy through proactive monitoring of their own health tend to be attracted to practices that offer the option of telemedicine. While patients of all ages can benefit from telemedicine (it will be essential for caring for our aging population), those in the millennial generation, and Gen-Y, increasingly insist on working with service providers of all types that offer the latest technical convenience.
As telemedicine becomes even more popular, we expect more surprising benefits like these to be discovered. The landscape of healthcare delivery is changing rapidly and that looks to be a very good thing for everyone.