Our first official post on Talk Telemedicine! Welcome and enjoy!
So: how can telemedicine increase healthcare accessibility? Let’s run through some scenarios.
The doctor AND patients are snowed in. We hear patients – and even doctors – cancelling appointments because of a snow storm all the time. Now, you don’t have to leave your house.
You’re in Broken Bow, Nebraska. The name is funny, but the situation is real. Many areas of the country, specifically in the Midwest, severely lack not only specialists, but primary care physicians. Telemedicine is an absolute necessity for people in towns with a population of 3,000.
You’re about to be a first-time mom. Congratulations! Not only are you creating new life, but you’re worried about every kick and hiccup. With an obstetrician who uses telemedicine, your worries can be put to rest without having to drive into the office just to learn that your little one is now about the size of a large avocado.
You need a specialist. A specialist may be needed for surgery, oncology, a second opinion – the list goes on. Telemedicine consultations will bring ease to a situation, allowing a patient to meet the doctor before traveling long distance. Until the day of the procedure, that is. It’s only 2015.
Your child has an ear infection… again. Every parent knows that it’s not uncommon for a young child to get sick, especially in the middle of the night. Typically, we already know what it is and just need that prescription without having to transport a kicking and screaming toddler to the pediatrician. With recurring conditions, telemedicine is ideal for identification and immediate prescription call-ins.
Rehabilitation treatment programs. Compliance is an obvious issue with rehabilitation treatments. Telemedicine can be the component that ensures compliance, specifically with folks who wish to comply. Treatment follow-ups and check-ins are essential.
A doctor is available for after-hour care, but doesn’t want to be in the office for 15 hours straight. Telemedicine is about convenience and continuity of care. A provider will have the option to extend office hours without actually being in the office.
Can you think of other scenarios where telemedicine would aid in provider accessibility?