Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has made accessing healthcare services more difficult for people. However, thanks to advances in technology, telemedicine services have allowed patients to continue to receive the medical care they require, remotely.
Telemedicine utilizes telecommunication infrastructure, such as video chat through a tablet, smartphone, or computer, enabling you to have contact with your physician at a distance, from the comfort of your home, work, or any location where you have access to the internet.
Although there may be some disadvantages of using this type of service, telemedicine can offer a number of benefits and can allow more convenient and accessible care to patients through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Pros of Telemedicine
Convenient and Accessible
In modern healthcare, convenience is paramount, and it is one of the main advantages of telemedicine services. Telemedicine can be a convenient and effective way to access high-quality medical provision and attentive care from your doctor remotely. It can be particularly effective for patients who live in remote locations, who are homebound, disabled, require childcare, or struggle to take time off work in order to attend medical appointments. It allows you to access care virtually, privately, and conveniently, without wasting unnecessary time traveling to the doctor’s office. It can also help you avoid lengthy clinic wait times.
High-Quality Service Provision
Telemedicine does not limit the level of care a patient receives, and it can provide a variety of useful healthcare services. This can be particularly useful if you are unable to attend a healthcare facility in person, are self-isolating, or need to practice physical distancing. Telemedicine can be used to:
- Assess whether a condition or minor injury requires treatment in person
- Provide medical advice, education, and intervention
- Discuss symptoms
- Write or renew a prescription
- Provide assessment and diagnosis for an infection, injury, or medical condition
- Monitor an existing healthcare issue or medications
- Order tests or arrange for a referral
Some research has indicated that patients who access telemedicine spend less time in hospitals and medical facilities, which can help to keep costs down. Although not all insurers cover telemedicine and some practices do not accept insurance for this service, it can still be a cost-effective service by reducing indirect costs, such as time off work, travel costs, or childcare expenses.
Reduces the Spread of Infection
Attending your doctor’s office can leave you vulnerable to picking up viruses and illnesses. This can be particularly problematic for patients with a weakened immune system or underlying health conditions. Telemedicine allows you to access healthcare whilst avoiding putting yourself at unnecessary risk. It also helps reduce the spread of viruses, such as COVID-19.
Cons of Telemedicine
Telemedicine may not suit all patients, and there can be some drawbacks to accessing this type of healthcare. Disadvantages of telemedicine include:
Telemedicine can only work effectively with a good technology system in place. A weak connection or complicated patient platform can make telemedicine ineffective and difficult to use. As a patient, you also need to be sure that the program your physician uses is secure and fully compliant with privacy laws to ensure your medical data is kept safe and secure.
Delays in Treatment
Although telemedicine can speed up access to medical care, there can be a delay in treatment if your physician requests you attend a face-to-face appointment before offering treatment. Some medical conditions can be difficult to diagnose through a video-chat setting and may require further investigation.
May Not Be Covered by Insurance
Not all insurers cover telemedicine. If you are considering accessing telemedicine, and plan to use insurance, you should check whether this type of service is covered. Ensure you find out exactly what is included in your insurance plan beforehand to avoid hidden costs or unexpected expenses.
Telemedicine, Southlake, TX
EMC Express Care is a multidisciplinary urgent care center conveniently located in North Richland Hills. We offer a variety of healthcare services for all your non-emergency medical needs, including a walk-in clinic available daily from 10 am to 8 pm, providing quick and effective medical care.
We proudly serve the communities of Keller, Colleyville, Southlake, North Richland Hills, Ft. Worth, Euless, and Westlake, Texas. If you would like to find out more about our services, call EMC Express Care at (817) 503-8800.