The Importance and Benefits of Telemedicine

Telehealth and telemedicine software have brought doctors and patients closer, to seemingly remove any barriers that may stand between delivering better healthcare. From eliminating transportation costs, to making emergency visits more accessible by going online and even increasing the number of health providers available at any time, telemedicine has shown various benefits in the recent past.

Telemedicine is the optimal delivery of healthcare services using modern technology such as smart devices to diagnose and treat patients. It is a software based approach that helps patients and doctors connect digitally and enables medical professionals to deliver the best care in the shortest amount of time. It is often misunderstood that telemedicine involves only making calls to doctors. Though this is not an exclusive feature, it is provided as one of the  means to communicate with the physician in some cases.

Today, telemedicine software has almost become a staple in terms of delivering healthcare. Not only because we face a global pandemic, but also because of the ease it offers to both, the doctors and the patients, in giving and receiving healthcare. 

Here are some of the benefits of telemedicine that cannot be overlooked in this technology driven era:

1. Gives patients faster access to doctors:
With mobile applications becoming the playing field for telemedicine. The power is right at the fingertips of the patients and doctors. Teleconsultation sessions can be booked at the convenience of doctors on an on-screen appointment schedule that is shown to the patients. 

Patients can instantly access the calendar on their mobile devices and pick slots as per the doctor’s allocated session and availability. Because there is no in-person interaction, the appointment scheduling is also open 24 hours a day, which means a patient can schedule an appointment whenever they like.

2. Digital Patient Health Monitoring:
Telehealth software allows you, as a doctor, to create digital case notes and manage a record of each and every consultation. The records include patient health goals, prescriptions and prescribed tests, billing and payments, follow-up schedule and care plans that the doctor may have advised for the patients to follow. 

This is usually designed to work in tandem with configurable health sheets that help in patient health monitoring. With specific case sheets and customizable templates to capture relevant patient data, the consultation is made entirely stress free. This can be owed to the fact that the best telehealth software comes with vast libraries of clinical summaries to aid doctors in their specific practice.

Patient data security is also prioritised as per the MCI guidelines and HIPAA compliance regulatory laws. This means that the practice data available on your teleconsultation software belongs only to you. Therefore, there is no chance of breaching patient information confidentiality guidelines. Video calls and messages are usually encrypted with 256 bit encryption which makes the messages nearly unattainable by third parties. If the software is integrated with your practice, it allows you, as the highest authority, to apply strict privacy and security controls to patient data.

3. Assured Digital Payments for every consultation:
Digital payment modes have taken the financial world by storm. This extends into the telehealth industry as well, giving doctors the flexibility to choose their fee amounts and arrange for digital payment methods to be active on their teleconsultation software.

Most times doctors are apprehensive about using teleconsultation software to engage with patients, mostly out of the fear of not getting paid for the consultation. This is nothing but a myth! It is common today for telehealth software to have a system which allows a patient to consult a doctor, only if the payment is completed. That way, doctors can rest easy, knowing that a consultation is taking place only under the assurance of having been paid first. 

With so many leaps in technology, payments have been made easier to complete with multiple online payment methods being built into the software. This allows patients to choose a method they are comfortable with whether it be UPI, netbanking or debit cards. Along with this, the features for automated bill generation allows for each bill payment to be recorded and added to your overall revenue generated.

4. Cost effective: 
If the teleconsultation software is integrated into or comes along with the practice management software, it is better for doctors in terms of cost effectiveness.

Telemedicine reduces overall operational costs for a doctor by making the consultations online. It also auto-generates records for digital information of the patients health condition, vitals, etc. and which eliminates the cost of maintaining paperwork too. In addition to this, the 100% digital appointment and consultation process saves time for doctors and patients, giving more footfalls of patients to doctors.

5. Easy Post Consultation Care and Rehabilitation: 
A very overlooked point of view is how after care of patients can be managed with telemedicine. The treatment of a patient is never really finished until the doctor ensures the patient completely gets rid of the illness. 

In many cases, patients require prolonged treatment and many may have to resort to remote post-consultation care techniques if they are under the care of a doctor for a major treatment. These patients benefit greatly from tele-rehabilitation services being provided over telehealth software. It helps with the smooth transition of patients back into their lives, which can be after the patient is discharged from a hospital or is back home after a surgery/procedure. Long term post-treatment home-care for patients is seen as extra value and is seeing a lot of innovation today.

Telemedicine is essentially a 21st century reimagination of delivering perfect healthcare to patients. When the most powerful devices that rest in our pockets are able to empower medical professionals and patients all the same, it is upto the technology providers to enable better healthcare for the future.

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