The Benefits of Telemedicine
Telemedicine benefits not only the consumers who are able to receive healthcare more efficiently, it also benefits the doctors who can streamline their efforts to assist more and more patients...
Access & Convenience – For more than 40 years, telemedicine has been used to bring immediate, state-of-the-art healthcare services to patients, many in rural locations. Patients and their families reduce travel time, and related stress. More than 15 years of studies have documented patient satisfaction with, and support for, telemedical services. Without these services, a patient may not be able to access a provider without great effort and difficulty. Likewise, doctors who use emerging technology are more efficient and are able to assist more patients.
Quicker/Correct Diagnoses Mean Reduced Healthcare is Required – Increased access to healthcare through technology means that symptoms, complications, etc. can quickly be diagnosed. Early detection of the need for healthcare translates into not only the better overall health of the patient, but also in reduced traumatic emergency room visits and hospitalizations, as well as earlier discharge from hospitalized care, when it is necessary. Many physicians and specialists utilize various forms of technology to increase the accuracy with which they make their initial diagnosis, which reduces unnecessary healthcare, and costs.
Cost Efficiencies - One of the most important reasons for funding and adopting telemedicine technologies is that telemedicine has been shown to reduce the cost of healthcare and increase efficiency through better management of chronic diseases, shared health professional staffing, reduced travel time, as well as fewer or shorter hospital stays.
The cost of healthcare is an enormous economic burden. Projections from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services show that annual health-care expenditures are expected to reach $3.1 trillion by 2012, growing at an average annual rate of 7.3% during the forecast period or 17.7% of gross domestic product, up from 14.1%. Understandably, telemedicine will become a multi-billion dollar industry while saving billions of dollars as well, over the long term.
Increased Independence – Telemedicine in the home means elderly patients can be monitored and remain independent for longer periods of time. The costs associated with assisted living can be extraordinary, and older adults often experience a higher level of mental satisfaction when they can remain independent. Family members are also not required to provide continuous medical assistance.
Safety & Security – Technology allows for the safekeeping of vital patient information for an indefinite period of time on a secure website or other electronic format. This information is made easily accessible to doctors, surgeons and other specialists, which dramatically reduces the time for a patient to receive necessary care. This information is readily updated each time a patient receives treatment, and is reviewable by both patient and provider. Patients can rest assured their information is secure.
Less Anxiety & More Empowerment – Telemedicine streamlines the process by which a patient receives healthcare. This means patients spend less time at medical facilities, or generally in the process of having healthcare administered to them. Patients are less anxious and more satisfied with the expediency of telemedicine and often actually feel empowered to participate in their care program.
Growing Acceptance and Demand – Hundreds of telemedicine programs are available throughout the country, insurance companies are opening their arms to telemedicine and patients are now more at ease and accepting of the use of technology applications. Therefore, consumers want telemedicine, and they are asking for telemedicine.