For years, patients have had to contend with the typical long wait times when seeking medical attention. It is irking to find yourself waiting to make an appointment, waiting for the appointment date, and queuing in the waiting room before actually seeing the doctor. In most cases, the wait is a source of anxiety for many people due to the time inconvenience and discomfort. Telemedicine seems the next frontier technology in improving this state of affairs. The technology makes use of telecommunication devices such as cell phones and secure data connections to eliminate the need for physical visits to the doctor’s office.
Subsequently, with this technology, medical attention is just a phone call or video chat away. There are mobile apps and software solutions that allow one to have a secure video chat and even send photos of specific areas of concern on the body for the doctor to analyze and give a diagnosis. In the recent past, the success of the technology has been evident with doctors being able to provide clinical care to people in rural areas and war-torn regions. Such tools thus seem to be a revolutionary way to improve the waiting room as it brings various benefits to both doctors and patients. This article discusses how the technology is improving medical consultation.
It seemingly takes ages to see a doctor only to walk in the consultation room and come out five minutes later with a full diagnosis and prescription. This shows that numerous medical cases do not require walk-in visits to the hospital because the doctor can make a perfectly well-informed analysis of ailments and prescribe medication using such technology. The technology offers patients the chance to contact doctors through apps and get their diagnoses from any location in the world, and at any time.
If many patients could use the app to seek consultation, then it is possible to ensure shorter waiting times in comparison to physical queuing. Notably, this has a ripple effect on the patients that have to make physical appointments. Queues will end up being much shorter since a significant number of patients are being served online.
Additionally, patients suffering from chronic diseases that require medical care from specialists also experience shorter waiting periods. When such patients contact their general practitioner online, the doctor can assess the situation and immediately refer the patient to a specialist. The patient can then make an appointment with the specialist if the case requires a physical consultation. The first online consultation eliminates the need for the additional consultation room sessions.
In some instances, due to unavoidable circumstances, people are often unable to make the trip to see the doctor. The average no-show rate according to medical experts stands at about 5-7%. Telehealth enables patients to get medical care at any time and place.
Consequently, there will be fewer no-shows and late cancellation of appointments. Essentially, the technology eliminates the need to make strenuous plans of shifting meetings, getting a babysitter to watch the kids while you are in the hospital, or even leaving the house early to avoid traffic to make the doctor’s appointment. With such technology, you will have no reason to avoid that consultation.
The reality with many medical cases is that even with the presence of telemedicine, one may need to see the doctor physically for some special circumstances. If you cancel, reschedule, or miss the appointment, then the doctor gets a small window to attend to the online patients. Alternatively, the doctor may move up other appointments to create time for the online patients at some point in the day. This optimizes the flow of patients in and out of the waiting room as well as the online platform.
More often than not, medical emergencies take place at night, and people have to quickly pull resources to make the trip to the hospital at odd hours. With telemedicine, it is possible to receive medical care late in the night from doctors that utilize the technology. This eliminates the need for late sessions in the consultation room and also eradicates procrastinating medical care due to barriers affecting the trip to the hospital.
In conclusion, such tools are revolutionizing the medical industry by making it easier and more convenient to see the doctor. Notably, numerous health insurance providers now include telehealth in their clients’ covers, and this is allowing more patients access to this amazing technology. The technology has the potential to improve service delivery at every consultation room in the country.