Telemedicine has become mainstream in today’s health scenario. While the industry had a positive overlook to telehealth even before the pandemic, its adoption rates have skyrocketed in the aftermath.
According to a Mckinsey report, the consumer adoption of telemedicine rose from 11 percent in 2019 to 49 percent in 2020.
As large hospitals and individual practitioners both move towards incorporating telemedicine in their practice workflow, one important consideration is patient experience.
What impact does telemedicine have on improving the patient experience? How do patients transition from face-to-face consultations to virtual ones?
And most importantly, how can healthcare providers harness the power of telemedicine technology to improve the patient’s experience?
In this piece, we’ll be covering all this and more. Let’s get started
Ways in which telemedicine is improving patient’s experience
1. Elimination of longer wait times
With telemedicine, there are fewer barriers to prompt delivery of healthcare. Virtual consultations remove the instances of patients waiting for their turn for doctor’s consultation.
Long wait times are a major cause of patient dissatisfaction and negative patient experiences. Telemedicine streamlines appointment scheduling and eliminates the wait times.
By ensuring transparency into the appointment slots available and empowering the patients to schedule the appointments at a time that works for them, telemedicine improves the overall patient experience.
2. More time dedicated to patient interactions
Physicians often have to juggle between appointments at different locations, putting a strain on them and limiting the resources available.
In the US, there is a huge gap between the number of patients looking for a consultation and the number of physicians available for consultations. This gap is only going to widen in the time to come.
Telemedicine allows the physicians to interact with more patients, streamlines their appointments and eliminates inefficiencies from their workflow.
For the patients, it translates to more time for interacting with the physician during their consultation and greater satisfaction with treatment being provided.
3. Individual attention and personalization of care
Sceptics fear that technology threatens to reduce the human factor from care delivery. However, the truth is that the advances in the field of healthtech are actually freeing up doctor’s time, automating the routine tasks and allowing them to dedicate more time to patient care.
One of the features that can ensure effectiveness of telemedicine is having a dedicated patient portal within the telemedicine platform. The patient’s medical history, chief complaint, medication history etc can be recorded when the patient schedules the appointment.
Since the physicians have access to the patient’s history prior to the appointment, it results in personalization of care.
By facilitating a better provider-patient relationship, telemedicine plays its role in improving the patient experience while personalizing the care.
4. Advent of data-driven patient care
Telemedicine can harness the power of data through fitness wearables, smartwatches and other connected devices.
By giving the physicians access to patient data collected by the connected devices, telemedicine in combination with medical devices can result in advent of data-driven patient care.
Rather than relying on transient data capture, data driven patient care relies on a comprehensive data capture to boost the patient outcomes.
For example, instead of relying on manual recording of patient’s vitals like temperature, pulse and blood pressure by the nursing staff once or twice a day, connected devices can automatically record them throughout the day.
Any spikes or inconsistencies are instantaneously recorded and transmitted to the physicians delivering care virtually through the mobile application, since data facilitates personalization of care, the patient’s satisfaction with healthcare delivery automatically improves, and results in a positive patient experience.
5. Improved efficiency of healthcare delivery
Not only does telehealth eliminate long wait times, but it also makes it possible to improve the efficiency of healthcare delivery.
Telemedicine results in optimum scheduling of appointments and reduces the instances of patient no-shows. It also lets the healthcare providers manage their workflow more effectively.
The patient’s too don’t have to suffer the ambiguity of when the appointment slot would be available to them. They can access the calendar and choose a time and date that works for them.
All they have to do is to wait for the confirmation of their selected appointment by the physician.
Hospitals can also choose to have a reminder functionality added to their telemedicine application.
This would send out push notifications on the patient’s mobile devices, reminding them of their upcoming doctor’s appointment and ensuring that missed appointments are kept to a minimum. Improved efficiency levels directly correlate with the improved patient experience.
6. Reduction in costs of availing healthcare services
Telemedicine reduces the operational overheads of healthcare delivery. While telemedicine software development and maintenance costs are incurred by the healthcare organizations, in the long term, it results in cost savings for hospitals and healthcare organizations implementing it.
From the patient’s perspective too, telemedicine results in significant savings when availing healthcare services. The biggest factor is the cost of traveling to-and-fro from the hospital premises. Since the need for commuting is eliminated, it results in convenience and added cost savings.
The federal government covering telemedicine reimbursement under medicare in response to the coronavirus pandemic also contributes to the cost saving.
The patients can get their telehealth consultations covered by their insurance resulting in an improved patient experience.
7. Remote patient monitoring to reduce hospital readmissions
Remote patient monitoring is a subset of telemedicine which is becoming increasingly popular and is witnessing high demand across hospitals. It allows the physicians to check up on their patients after discharge from the hospitals.
The follow-up treatments and monitoring the recovery takes place virtually. This saves patients from making the trip down to the hospitals whenever the doctors need to have a follow-up checkup.
It also safeguards the patients against the risk of hospital acquired infections leading to possible readmissions.
Remote patient monitoring is also a boon to elderly patients and patients suffering from debilitating conditions that make it difficult to make a trip down to the hospital or clinic.
The comfort of having physician consultations and follow-up appointments remotely gives a huge boost to the overall patient experience.
Looking to incorporate telemedicine into your practice workflow? The experts are here to help you with your transition.
As a 100 percent dedicated telemedicine app development company, our expertise in the field can be the missing ingredient that your project needs to kick-off successfully.
Get in touch with us and our telehealth will get back to you with customized solutions unique to your practice.