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What is Telemedicine?

Pros & Cons of this new age medical care

Just as technology has impacted the way we do practically everything in life—it has now given medical professionals a new way to care for their patients. It’s been decades since house calls were a part of healthcare, but Telemedicine is, to many, the next best thing. Read on to learn more:

Telemedicine: What is it?

Telemedicine is the use of technology to provide medical care and consultation to patients remotely. Using video-conferencing software, providers are able to “see” patients and provide diagnostic care without the need for an office visit.

Although telemedicine has been around for a while, years ago it was primarily used to provide care to those who lived in rural areas far away from their doctor’s office or those who were unable to drive, many of whom were seniors. Today, many doctors are providing telemedicine as part of their practice, a service that is not only convenient but also is helping to reduce the need for hospital visits and increase access to care for many.

While many people still prefer traditional medical care, more and more patients are taking advantage of telemedicine. Here’s a look at the pros and cons:

Pros of telemedicine

For those who lead very busy lives, telemedicine is a great alternative to having to take time off from work or away from family for doctor’s visits. More benefits include:

  • The convenience of seeking medical attention for smaller, less urgent conditions or injuries
  • Increase in patient engagement by allowing for more frequent interaction between doctor and patient
  • Decreased cost for caregivers and patients because of less overhead, reduced transportation expenses and unnecessary trips to ER and urgent care
  • Increased access to specialists
  • Increase in patients seeking care who would otherwise opt to avoid a doctor visit
  • Higher quality patient care as a result of real-time consultations and the ability to get treatment options more immediately
  • On-demand care from doctors that offer this service

Cons of telemedicine

For some, face-to-face will always mean in-person, and therefore they will opt to visit the doctor in person rather than utilize telemedicine. And although there are many benefits to this new access to care, there are, as with anything, some drawbacks. Take a look:

  • The cost of new technology
  • Training required to provide the best possible services
  • A decrease in patient continuity—some patients will randomly select caregivers and switch often, rather than sticking with a primary care doctor
  • Confusion with insurance benefits and reimbursement policies
  • Conditions or illnesses that require an in-person appointment

As technology continues to evolve, the healthcare industry is also changing, allowing for new and improved ways for patients to get the care they need. The field of telemedicine is rapidly expanding and growing at an exponential rate, as more and more providers choose to offer this kind of care in the hopes that they can see more patients and improve patient care.

For more information on topics related to healthcare, please visit our blog. All Points Medical Waste is a full-service medical waste provider serving clients throughout Okeechobee, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, and Broward Counties. To learn more about what we do or to request a quote, contact us today.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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