Telemedicine grows in popularity across the United States
Telemedicine continues to grow in popularity across the United States. The healthcare industry faces significant ongoing challenges, including the rising costs of health care, a shortage of primary care providers, and limited access to health care in broad swaths of rural areas. Each of these issues can be at least partially ameliorated by giving patients increased access to healthcare providers via telemedicine.
However, new technology brings new challenges, and physicians must be proactive in their efforts to ensure their patients’ safety. While caring for patients in their homes carries some inherent risk because patients aren’t in a controlled, hospital setting, telemedicine carries separate, additional risks due to the technology involved.
The good news is that the risks presented by telemedical technology is best managed by a combination of focused education and proper safety protocols. If patients are educated in online patient safety by a well-trained member of staff, the risks are reduced to more predictable categories, such as the patient’s ability to self-report accurately and catch new or subtle symptoms as they occur.
From the very beginning, Online Doctor Visit has placed a high value on patient safety. We employ secure network systems and advanced safety protocols for our webcam and portal connections. We fully protect our patients from hackers who would attempt to bypass our security measures with decryption programs. Our telemedicine platform is entirely HIPAA-compliant and secure.
But what about once the video chat has ended and the patient is responsible for following instructions? Compliance issues are significantly detrimental to patient safety. Patients often don’t really fully understand or remember the treatment plan as it was presented to them, even when they do their very best to comply with their treatment regimen. Are there additional risks presented in a telehealth situation at this stage of treatment?
In a word, no!
Because telemedicine allows patients to connect with a provider at the touch of a button, patients are actually positioned to be able to have great success with their treatment plan. Should the patient have any trouble with the instructions they have been given, they can reconnect with their healthcare provider and receive nearly immediate assistance.
In fact, telehealth-based patient care is one of the treatment modalities that is increasingly used to increase patient adherence to their prescribed regimen, as well as for managing new symptoms, should any crop up during treatment. Telehealth allows physicians and nurses to monitor their patients and communicate with them on an ongoing basis. This is one of several ways that properly-implemented telemedical care has decreased the number of visits patients make to emergency rooms each year.
At Online Doctor Visit, we want to help you avoid heading to the emergency room. If you want to safely connect to a doctor who is licensed in your state, you’ll be presented with a number of doctors to choose from, and then we’ll connect you to your selected physician for an appointment. Our platform is secure, our doctors care about you, and we believe access to telemedicine will dramatically improve your quality of life.