Are you a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant? If so, are you looking for new and more effective ways to practice? It could be that telemedicine is what you need to expand beyond your current scope. Telemedicine has taken on a greater role in providing healthcare delivery since the start of the pandemic. That role will only get bigger as time goes on.
A good way to understand whether telemedicine would be good for your practice is to ask your patients. Conduct the survey that asks, among other things, how they prefer to see you for routine care. Obviously, telemedicine is not appropriate for every need. But it can be utilized for most routine care purposes.
The most commonly utilized form of telemedicine right now is arguably the video call. Videoconferencing solutions allow clinicians and their patients to visit via computer, mobile device, etc. They can have the same conversation over video that they would have in the office.
It could be that many of your patients would prefer this option. Video calls are especially attractive when providers only have to discuss things like test results or responses to a particular treatment. And for patients who live in rural areas, video calls can make an enormous difference.
Medical Kiosks with Diagnostics
Another potential option is to offer patients medical kiosks with built-in diagnostics. CSI Health is just one of numerous telemedicine solution providers that design and build customized kiosks. The kiosks can be set up in pharmacies, department stores, or purpose-built clinics staffed by qualified nurses.
The advantage of this sort of thing is that diagnostic capabilities allow clinicians to do more with less. For example, annual health screenings are pretty routine in GP offices. Health screenings involve recording the patient’s weight, measuring blood pressure, checking heart rate, etc.
A telemedicine kiosk with built-in diagnostics offers all the same tools. Combined with videoconferencing, it allows GPs to offer routine health screenings without requiring patients to come to the office.
Even without kiosks installed in retail locations, the same type of thing can be accomplished by investing in a portable telehealth solution. The portable kit is carried by a staff nurse to the patient’s home, where it is utilized to facilitate the remote health screening.
App Based Care
Still another telemedicine option is app-based care. This may not be practical to offer in conjunction with a standard primary care office, but providers looking to get out of the traditional office setting can sign on with app-based companies that offer on-demand primary care.
This particular solution provides primary care services through mobile apps. Patients download the app of their preferred provider to their smartphone. When they need primary care, they open the app and choose a clinician. Within minutes, they are participating in a live consultation. App-based healthcare is the epitome of on-demand medicine.
Telemedicine Is Here to Stay
The suggestion to survey your patients was not offered merely as a basis on which to write this post. Rather, it is a reflection of the fact that telemedicine is here to stay. The healthcare industry has been slow to adopt telemedicine thus far, but the technology has been thrust upon them by the coronavirus crisis. And now that it is here, it is here permanently.
As a clinician looking to expand your practice, it’s important that you do so in a way that satisfies your patients. After all, they are also your customers. If telemedicine solutions and virtual care are what they want, it is in your best interest to provide them.