Return Of The House Call: Telemedicine Gaining Ground
Telemedicine Here To Stay
Healthcare has always been an industry synonymous with change. How it is paid for, who provides it, service provided, procedures performed and medicines prescribed are touchpoints that are top-of-mind when it comes to healthcare industry changes. Telemedicine and how/where healthcare is provided is increasingly becoming a mainstay topic.
Healthcare, Technology And Social Media Combined
Healthcare delivery has evolved from singular hospitals, private practice groups and the nostalgic doctor who made house calls into health systems, satellite clinics, network providers, “doc-in-the-box” immediate care chains, retail pharmacy clinics and other care provider models.
Telemedicine is becoming an integral component in the new care delivery model. Mobile technology, real-time experiences and social media/content sharing attributes featured in basic texting, FaceTime, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube platforms are readily adaptable to accelerate the adoption of telemedicine.
Key Drivers Of Telemedicine
Telemedicine is on the rise for several reasons and its success cultivates new opportunities for it to be used for new care opportunities. These are 5 primary elements driving greater adoption of telemedicine:
- Cost Reduction: patient out-of-pocket, managed care, facility operations
- Access To Care: rural addresses, limited patient mobility, congested metropolitan transit, business/personal travel, point-of-care convenience
- Technology: reliable smartphones, high-quality audio/visual, instant messaging, email, texting, EHR connectivity, remote patient monitoring
- Clinicians: physician/ nurse shortage, widening role of nurse practitioners, the ability of medical professionals to use telemedicine successfully
- Consumer/patient acceptance: ease of use with mobile technology and comfort level in using it for multiple purposes including healthcare
As technology advances plus clinician, payer and consumer experience with telemedicine grow, it will play a larger role in routine and intermediate-patient care. Quantified, cost-effective outcomes and positive experiences need to continue.
Telemedicine opens new dimensions in healthcare delivery, finances, managed care and technology. User acceptance and innovation are already spurring these and other improvements:
- Increasingly specialized apps for smartphone audio, video and instant messaging centered on clinician/patient dialogue, vital signs
- Standards for billing, retention of A/V recordings, EMR/EHR integration
- Skills and techniques to decipher symptoms and diagnose based on clinician and patient dialogue and vital signs data
- Formalized determinations as to when a patient requires in-person consultation and treatment
- Billing/reimbursement standardized by more payers (managed care organizations, Medicare, Medicaid, DHA/TRICARE, etc.)
- Ongoing fortification of high performing security and privacy measures
What The Future Holds
Looking ahead, the advantages of telemedicine have now actually provided us with the old-school concept of the time-honored house call. In telemedicine, the clinician/patient connection is still one-on-one; the in-person audio/visual experience is digitally orchestrated in real-time.
The increasing experience of clinicians and patients with telemedicine and its routine use is being optimized and further enhanced with other diagnostic and wellness-related digital applications.
Finally, as the scope of users continues to grow (medical specialties, provider organizations, patients, payers) they will collectively be a transformational force multiplier. Telemedicine will be the preferred and prioritized way of providing quality healthcare.
Thank you for reading this story
Learn more about the healthcare industry through my articles spanning medical and business trends, content marketing and digital strategy, brand and product management, consumer wellness, managed care and market access strategy.
Hi, my name is John Baresky. Throughout my career, I have been writing about healthcare while developing and sharing important information with physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other clinicians plus consumers, patients, healthcare business professionals, investors and other stakeholders.
Healthcare is a vast industry. I organize its clinical, business, academic, technical and consumer topics into precise messages and stories that are easily understood and immediately useful. The content I write resonates across audiences with objective accuracy and clarity.
Visit my website and connect with me via LinkedIn and Twitter
A healthcare industry resource centering on marketing strategy for pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical device manufacturers, healthcare services, medical software and technology companies.
Pivotal elements include digital marketing, SEO, content development, content marketing, product launch, brand and product management, sales enablement and market access strategy.