Telemedicine is the house call come full circle. With the concept of the small town doctor being rendered obsolete, it is no surprise that technology could deliver an efficient replacement to the house call. If you run a nursing home or elder care facility, you will often find yourself at the mercy of the doctor’s schedule. He or she will be under time pressure to make all the necessary visits. With telemedicine, a doctor can make more time to see more patients.
A telemedicine doctor is a doctor just like any other. He or she most likely does rounds at a hospital, holds hours at a clinic, or has a private practice that caters to the community at large. That same doctor can use telemedicine to see patients who may not be able to travel to a doctor’s office or during night hours when availability of doctors is low. Telemedicine holds the same standards for its doctors as any other medical institution.
Gone are the days of increasingly elaborate filing systems. Electronic records are nothing new, either. Access to these records is where the advancements of telemedicine get to shine. On the professional end alone, administrative efficiency has been greatly increased. As for what that means to patients, diagnoses are quicker, for one. Quick reference to your medical history means less chance of negative drug interactions or poor response to a course of treatment. Prescriptions are no longer relegated to blue slips of paper with indecipherable writing on them. No more worry about losing them, either.
(Read Telemedicine is Efficient)
Just in case you are the type of person to follow the trend or simply wait until all the facts are in, you should know just how imminent the ‘telemedicine takeover’ is. The number of telemedicine users in America is expected to increase from 350,000 in 2013 to 7 million in 2018. Health care employers offering telemedicine have swelled by approximately 68% in just one year, between 2014 and 2015. Nursing homes using telemedicine have seen a drastic drop in hospital readmissions. Every incident that does not end in hospitalization increases the longevity of elder lives. What news could be better for long-term care?
Do you want to know who the most surprising participants in the ‘takeover’ are? If you guessed senior citizens, then good for you. You pay attention to your elders. Respect them by assisting them in their quest for good health. Remote in-home monitoring has proven to be the key to preventative care. The idea behind this may be to delay any need for an elder’s transition into a long-term care facility. However, those very seniors are not nearly as feeble or helpless as one might assume. In fact, their age group is showing a great deal of interest in telemedicine and its technology. Of course they are, who else stands to benefit more?