Telemedicine helps physicians provide patient care regardless of time or geography constraints. Telehealth makes care more equitable and accessible to the 89% of US adults and 78% of adults globally who own a smartphone, including those in medically underserved areas. Today, more and more clinic owners are considering implementing telehealth, as remote communication has become the new normal.
Are you thinking about incorporating telehealth into your clinic? If so, check out our article. It identifies the tangible benefits of remote solutions for healthcare providers, patients, and medical facilities.
Telehealth is here to stay
According to Vantage Market Research, the global telemedicine technologies industry generated 32,819.53 million USD in 2021 and is anticipated to generate 82,051.62 million USD by 2028.
Telehealth has become prevalent in the past few years. Clinics have started implementing telemedicine programs for on-demand medical support, mainly among the most vulnerable patient populations. Telehealth software allows physicians to treat patients in real time. Frequent virtual check-ins improve patient health and strengthen physician-patient relationships.
Some of telemedicine's advantages include reduced medical and travel expenses and a more patient-centered approach. The rising demand for telehealth is also associated with its ability to help physicians treat and monitor individuals living in remote and less populated areas with a shortage of qualified healthcare providers. Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones that support video conferencing, messenger apps, other mobile applications, self-tracking technologies, and wearables offer promising potential for more sustainable use of telehealth in the near future.
Top 8 advantages to using telehealth right now
Telehealth saves time which reduces costs for patients and healthcare providers, increases access to medical care and patient retention, and improves the patient experience. While these are the key telehealth advantages, let's take a look at more telehealth benefits.
#1 Telehealth offers a safer and more convenient patient experience
Telehealth makes healthcare access more equitable. Telehealth platforms provide greater access to care for people with specific health conditions, people with disabilities, and those living in areas experiencing medical workforce shortages. Patients can select a free slot and book a virtual appointment online with their desired practitioner in a few clicks.
Telehealth technology’s robust set of features such as patient scheduling, patient management, online booking, video meetings, and document management allows physicians to provide support beyond geographical barriers and stay connected with people living in other locations and time zones.
#2 Telehealth ensures secure communication
McKinsey’s research reveals healthcare providers’ concerns about telehealth security, workflow integration, effectiveness, and reimbursement.
Telehealth software must comply with all HIPAA security requirements and prioritize privacy concerns, as there has been an increase in data breaches over the past ten years. HIPAA-compliant telehealth vendors ensure secure video calls, messaging, and cloud storage as well as data encryption to protect personal information from leaks and unauthorized access.
For example, services like Skype cannot be used for telehealth as they don’t meet HIPAA requirements. Healthcare providers can guarantee a secure remote patient experience only by using HIPAA-compliant software.
#3 Telehealth makes medical care cost-effective
Remote healthcare services provide more options for patients to receive quality and continuous medical care while spending less money on clinic bills. Look at how telehealth can improve cost-efficiency for physicians and patients.
Reduced administrative tasks
Telehealth platforms can handle burdensome tasks, such as administrative duties. Telemedicine technology improves productivity and lets practitioners focus on essential work, namely treating patients and running an effective medical practice.
No travel expenses
Remote patient monitoring saves time and money for both patients and doctors. For example, traveling to the office and parking might be costly. Telehealth eliminates these barriers and helps save money without sacrificing quality of care.
Increased access to qualified medical specialists
Hiring and keeping qualified healthcare providers can be too expensive, especially for small clinics. For example, telehealth software can help by quickly and securely transferring medical images, such as CT scans and MRIs, between radiologists from different countries or regions.
Reduced overhead costs
Since healthcare providers can provide virtual consultations anywhere, there’s no need to waste a clinic’s budget on office maintenance, cleaning services, rental furniture, office supplies, reception area equipment, etc.
Practitioners have to pay monthly office costs regardless of how many patients they have. With telemedicine, clinic owners can save a significant amount of money by only paying for telehealth software and an internet connection. Moreover, telehealth vendors provide support for transferring offline offices online.
New patient engagement
Healthcare practitioners can expand their geographical reach with remote medical services. While in-person appointments are mainly available to local patients, online appointments can attract people from other states and areas with restricted (or limited) access to medical care. Medical specialists must ensure they are licensed to practice medicine in any state or country in which they want to operate.
#4 Telehealth gives physicians a competitive advantage
Telehealth helps physicians retain a competent medical workforce (people who deliver or assist in providing quality medical services) and provide medical services even to rural areas.Healthcare providers can treat their existing patients even if they relocate since patients don't need to change specialists when moving to a new area.
Also, most telehealth platform vendors provide relevant education and training to physicians practicing in different regions, strengthening their capacity to support and deliver high-quality treatment to patients. Clinics can hire medical specialists to provide effective and coordinated patient care no matter where they are.
#5 Telehealth improves physicians’ workflows and clinical efficiency
Telemedicine technology improves medical decision-making and patient coordination and optimizes automated clinical workflows. Physicians can conduct telehealth appointments online from anywhere, on any device, which boosts productivity and optimizes the patient experience.
Telehealth enables healthcare providers to store, organize, and exchange electronic patient data, images, and files and effortlessly access relevant information anytime. Telehealth platforms help providers run a more patient-centered medical practice, choose appropriate treatment methods, and immediately find data or sources they need for each patient visit.
#6 Telehealth improves patient satisfaction
Telehealth solutions exceed patient expectations due to improved communication, reduced costs, better health outcomes, and decreased travel time. Furthermore, it can be unsafe for patients to wait a long time for their appointments, especially during a global health crisis.
Instead of wasting time traveling long distances to a clinic or taking a day off from work, patients can schedule a meeting with a doctor at a convenient time using online booking. Patients can also easily reschedule or cancel their appointment if necessary without back-and-forth communication. They can have an excellent patient experience and can get the help they need anytime while staying at home.
#7 Telehealth is an effective solution for vulnerable populations
Telehealth technologies allow patients to efficiently manage their health and chronic diseases. They can simply book an online appointment to talk to a physician, describe their symptoms, and request lab results. Patients don't need to waste time waiting their turn at a physician's office with others who may increase their risk of infection.
Remote healthcare solutions may be lifesaving for the most fragile patient groups. For example, people with disabilities or serious illnesses, older adults, or people who require regular follow-ups after hospitalization can quickly get access to quality medical treatment and specialists via telemedicine platforms.
#8 Telehealth helps increase medical practice revenue
Telehealth is less time-consuming for patients and healthcare providers and makes healthcare more accessible. But how exactly can telemedicine boost medical practice revenue and reimbursement?
Reduced no-shows. If there are patient no-shows or late cancellations, medical facilities and healthcare providers still have to cover expenses such as office rent and equipment. There is also a high likelihood that patients who missed their appointment once won't return — for example, older adults, people with reduced mobility, or those who have severe diseases.
When patients are given the option to stay at home and see their physician, it can minimize the number of no-shows. Using convenient online booking options, patients can decide which type of appointment they want to schedule and when. They will also receive automated reminders for upcoming appointments.
- Automated refunds. Most telehealth software allows physicians to set up automated payments and a refund policy to get paid even if patients cancel appointments or don’t show up. Healthcare providers should inform patients about cancellation and no-show refund policies.
- Increased patient flow. An optimized schedule means healthcare providers can see more patients each day, including frequent check-ins, making patients more satisfied with your facility. Patients also don’t need to take a day off from work for a medical appointment when they need a quick consultation or a regular visit.
- Paid after-hours appointments. If physicians use telehealth, they don't have to take patient phone calls for free or after hours. A healthcare practitioner can count patient phone calls as paid virtual appointments. Counting patient calls as appointments helps healthcare specialists increase revenue and helps patients quickly get their concerns addressed.
- Track and recapture billable time. If an appointment is missed, a free slot opens up in the physician’s calendar. Providers can notify patients about these free slots. Also, patients can see these slots themselves since the telemedicine platform allows patients to view the doctor’s current schedule, which is always up to date. This feature helps patients to book last-minute appointments and physicians not to lose income.
Discover 8 ways how telemedicine saves healthcare providers money by implementing cost reduction strategies and embracing new sources of income.
To sum up
Initially, many clinics digitized their services (at least to some extent) because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But today, telehealth is a must for successful medical practices. With telehealth platforms’ robust features, such as online booking and scheduling, file sharing, security, and patient management, healthcare providers can improve the quality of patient diagnoses, optimize clinical workloads, reduce costs, and treat patients across borders.
Now that you see how your clinic can benefit from telehealth, check out our latest guide on choosing telemedicine software. It explains how to manage your facility efficiently and generate more revenue.
Explore the top 8 advantages of implementing a telehealth program:
- A safer and more convenient patient experience
- Secure patient communication
- More cost-effective medical care
- A competitive advantage for physicians
- Improved physicians’ workflows and clinical efficiency
- Enhanced patient satisfaction
- An effective solution for vulnerable populations
- Increased medical practice revenue