What started out as multiple cases of pneumonia due to an unknown cause has quickly become a global health crisis. The virus is now officially called COVID-19. Until a vaccine is created, the best that medical frontliners can do is to assist with recovery. They are faced with the challenge of looking after patients and keeping themselves as safe as possible. Telemedicine is proving to be quite helpful.
Telemedicine uses technology and telecommunications to provide remote clinical services. It’s essentially non-face-to-face clinical services. For example, a physician can simply use their telemed software to deliver care to a patient even when they’re not in the same consultation room or clinic.
Physical distancing is arguably the most efficient way to look after people with illnesses and diseases today. As a result, telemedicine is an increasingly appropriate means of accommodating patients and improving health. Explore how it improves patient engagement for private practices.
Touch Base with Patients while Observing Physical Distancing
COVID-19 will continue to disrupt the healthcare system in the foreseeable future. Healthcare providers, hospitals, and private practices have to find a way to cater to Americans’ health-related needs without putting them at higher risk of the coronavirus. Telemed provides a sustainable solution.
Telehealth technology keeps patients, physicians, and health systems connected. It keeps more people — particularly those with other ailments — at home, to reduce coronavirus transmission inside medical facilities. While there’s still no preventive measure or definite cure for COVID-19, telemedicine is one way to help flatten the curve. Here’s how it does that:
- Telehealth technology makes it easier to deploy medical solutions and health programs.
- Patients with medical ailments other than COVID-19 can receive care and treatment at home.
- Since they don’t need to visit clinics or hospitals, patients minimize the risk of contracting the virus.
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that telemedicine is still relatively new. It’s best for non-urgent communication and medical care, which doesn’t require emergency treatment. It’s more convenient for patients. At the same time, it reduces the strain on medical staff in clinics, hospitals, and emergency rooms.
Protect the People Working at the Medical Frontlines
The world has encountered many different strains of coronavirus in the last couple of decades, but none of them had consequences as grave as those of COVID-19’s. Medical researchers are giving their all just to understand how this particular strain of coronavirus works and how we can eliminate it. But time is ticking. Health care workers continue to risk their lives to protect the lives of others.
Many workers in the health care field are already stretched to the limit because of misguided leadership and missing supplies. Healthcare providers, hospitals, and private clinics can ease some of the pressure on primary care physicians, registered nurses, and other medical workers through telemedicine.
- Telehealth technology makes it easier to determine at-risk and not-at-risk patients.
- Remote medical care minimizes the risk of transmission for both workers and patients.
- Physicians can tend to chronic patients through teleconsultation rather than clinic visits.
- Medical workers can closely monitor mild acute respiratory infection, even from afar.
- Telehealth technology can arrange to have chronic medicine delivered to the patient.
Workers at medical frontlines have sworn to protect the lives of others. This is hard to do when doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff have to self-quarantine for two weeks due to potential exposure.
Additionally, it’s natural for medical workers to feel anxious during this time when traditional methods of care can actually endanger more lives. Telemedicine provides the assurance that medical workers can tend to all their patients while minimizing the risk of transmission.
Consider the Benefits of Telehealth Technology During Medically Trying Times
The public health crisis we’re currently facing isn’t likely to slow down until at least the end of the year. While it might be best for the general public to keep practicing physical distancing, telemedicine can be a welcome option and a critical tool in maintaining public health.
Here are the three highlights of telehealth technology during the time of COVID-19:
- Doctors can screen more patients remotely and tend to those who can receive care at home.
- Healthcare workers can provide remote routine care for patients with chronic diseases.
- Through limited exposure, healthcare workers have less chances of contracting the virus.
As effective as telehealth technology is in reducing the burden of medical staff, it also has its limitations.
COVID-19 testing can’t be done remotely yet. It doesn’t completely eliminate contact with coronavirus patients. Testing, diagnosis, and treatment still require in-patient care.
Also, hospitals and private practices that are only recently transitioning to telehealth technology will need some time to get used to telehealth tools and processes. It’s important to invest in proper hardware and proven programs to maximize the benefits of telemedicine.
Many hospitals have already integrated telemedicine into their operations and it doesn’t make sense for those that have not. Telehealth technology is a ready-made solution that lets medical staff cater to more patients from the safety of their homes.