Banty Co-Founder and Medical Director, Dr. Richard Tytus, provided the subject matter and direction for this article. The author would like to thank Adam Grant for his editorial assistance in writing the article. Dr. Richard Tytus takes responsibility for the content of the article.
When the COVID-19 global pandemic began to really take hold at the outset of 2020, those in the medical industry were forced to adjust how they provided care to patients.
For medical clinics in particular, seeing a patient in-person soon became a near impossibility due to strict health and safety protocols implemented to limit the physical contact between two people not in the same household.
At this juncture, medical professionals turned to telemedicine as a way to still provide care to patients who needed it. While some doctors conducted remote patient consultations over the phone, others turned to video call solutions as a way to keep appointments happening.
Although using technology to connect with patients from afar wasn’t new at the time, the public health crisis brought virtual medicine services into the forefront of peoples’ minds. In a way, telemedicine had a resurgence. As a result, we learned so much more about it, including:
Today’s Technology has Made Distanced Appointments Incredible
While you probably enjoyed the ability to connect with patients over the phone, doing so also came with its own challenges. For instance, the lack of the visual element. If someone was to describe a rash, a bump, or skin abnormality, you couldn’t see what they’re talking about. Subsequently, you’d need to go through the process of having the person email the clinic photos of their condition – this is inconvenient for everyone and delays treatment.
Since online medicine solutions make doctor-patient video conferences possible, the process of viewing the ailment, forming an opinion, then offering a treatment plan is much quicker. Considering that many telemedicine solutions have HD video and screen share capabilities, seeing and diagnosing an issue is much easier.
Lives Can be Saved
Pandemic aside, some individuals do not physically get to a doctor’s office when they should. A lot of this has to do with fitting an in-person appointment into a busy schedule; the lengthy commute; mobility issues; and fear of catching something while sitting in the waiting room.
Online doctor’s appointments – at the very least – can get these people to see you whenever any medical concern pops up. In some cases, a video call with a patient could reveal an issue that – if not treated immediately – could lead to long-term complications or even death.
Making online doctor visits available to patients encourages them to not shrug aside what they perceive to be a minor issue, because – in reality – they don’t know.
Patients are Good with Virtual Visits
Before COVID-19, it can be argued that a large number of your patients did not even know that doctors could have virtual visits with patients. Now, this could be because you were not offering such services ahead of the pandemic, or because someone simply did not know about the technology.
The resurgence telemedicine had because of COVID-19 made patients very aware that remote, online treatment options exist. Over time, a large faction of patients began to see the positives of this technology and took comfort in knowing not all medical appointments required travelling into a doctor’s office.
Now that these patients know how to find a doctor online, their continued interest in virtual visits will only help take virtual medicine to the next level.
Online Doctor’s Appointments are Not Hard to Conduct
Once you spend a bit of time getting used to your telemedicine solution of choice, you’ll come to learn how easy it is to have a live video chat online with your patients.
All you need to do is have high-quality computers, tablets, or smartphones at your clinic’s disposal, along with a strong Internet connection. Partner that with a bright, quiet room, and an online bedside manner that’s consistent with your in-person one, and you’ll discover just how simple it is to see patients virtually.