An increasing number of physicians across a spectrum of specialties are considering practicing telemedicine. While some physicians“ especially employed physicians working for large health maintenance organizations “ may already be delivering patient care via telephone or video appointments, others havent yet dipped their toes into the telemedicine waters.
Almost two-thirds of hospitals utilize telemedicine, and facilities in other healthcare settings are beginning to ride the telehealth wave. Long-term care facilities, urgent care centers, private practices, and employer clinics are appreciating the value that telemedicine delivers to their patients and to their bottom lines.
Opportunities on the Horizon
Telemedicine has set sail, and the winds are picking up. Physicians from virtually every specialty are recognizing the career opportunities presented by a robust telehealth marketplace. In fact, a doctor at any point in their career can leverage the growth of telemedicine.
A physician in the early stages of their career may have the drive to work additional hours or the desire to boost their income. To this end, telemedicine offers attractive per-visit payments and no overhead expenses. Mid-career physicians may wish to redefine the way they practice medicine, using telemedicine to either augment their existing practice or to achieve greater work-life balance by switching to medicine full-time. Those who are closer to the twilight of their careers may find telemedicine appealing as a way to relieve burnout or bridge the path to retirement.
Taking the Helm
With the increasing number of telehealth companies, it can be difficult for doctors interested in practicing telemedicine to separate the best from the rest. There are three primary factors that signal that a company is on the cutting edge of telemedicine.
1. Integration of telephysician services and patient-side technology.
Its next to impossible to diagnose and treat patients remotely without the proper tools, yet technology is beyond the purview of too many telehealth services. A forward-thinking telehealth company easily navigates software, hardware, and personnel, integrating them into one turnkey telemedicine solution.
2. Easy scheduling and effortless connections.
Telephysicians dont want or need layers of administrative or technological hassles. Cutting edge telemedicine companies provide intuitive scheduling via the web or a mobile application. That same HIPAA-compliant app should be capable of easily connecting the provider to the patient for their telemedicine consultation.
3. Effective and efficient clinical workflow
Face-to-face patient communication is the tip of the iceberg of telemedicine. Prior to seeing the patient, the telephysician should have ready access to the patients demographics and disposition, as well as imaging and diagnostic test results. During the teleexam, the doctor should be able to control a telemedicine cart that features a state-of-the-art camera and peripherals that enable a thorough examination. Mechanisms for relaying instructions to the bedside staff should be intuitive, and the process of writing encounter notes should be painless.
Telemedicine is widely appealing since it offers physicians flexibility at every point in their careers. However, choosing a telehealth company can be daunting, which is why its critical to find one that has implemented a vision for the future of telemedicine.
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