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.
Before the COVID-19 global pandemic, a relatively select group of physicians offered their patients online doctor’s appointments. At this time, video conference solutions capable of helping physicians provide such a service were limited. In part, this could have been due to many healthcare professionals opting for over-the-phone appointments if unable to see a patient at the clinic.
Since the pandemic began, though, more and more doctors needed to begin offering some form of online medicine. After all, when patients were not allowed to enter a clinic (out of respect for public health measures) doctors still needed a way in which they could have face-to-face appointments with patients.
While COVID-19 cases are shrinking in certain sections of the world, the virus is still with us and likely will be for years to come. As such, those in the healthcare community should not just continually offer patients virtual medicine appointments, they should also be sure to never take online medicine for granted. Here’s why:
Future Health Crises are Always Possible
If there is one thing the COVID-19 global pandemic taught us, it’s that a virus capable of spreading across the planet and dangerously infecting millions upon millions of humans is possible.
Now that we are all aware of the damage such a virus can do, it is important for the healthcare community to always be prepared for such an earth-rattling health crisis. This includes having reputable and easy-to-operate telehealth solutions at the ready.
While it can’t be said with any degree of certainty how many lives online doctor visits can save, such a treatment option needs to be widely available in the event people are once again unable to leave their home for care.
One of COVID’s lesser-discussed side effects was that even those uninfected by it saw their health deteriorate as a result of not being able to connect with their physician for an appointment in a timely manner.
Online Medicine Gives Patients Options
As we all know, getting to and from a doctor’s appointment can be a complicated matter for so many people. There are the individuals who have trouble shoe-horning medical appointments into their schedule, while there are other people who – due to a disability or lack of transit options – cannot easily reach a clinic.
When a medical clinic offers telemedicine services, it is helping people still receive the care they need, minus the stress of physically attending an appointment.
Just think, how much easier it will be to deal with a patient who did not get stressed out by traffic, taking multiple buses, or rearranging their entire schedule in order to sit in a crowded waiting room?
When a patient logs in for an online doctor’s appointment in a calm and cool manner, a better treatment experience will be had by all involved.
A Doctor’s Schedule Can Become More Flexible
As much as it makes sense for a doctor to be at the clinic as much as possible, sometimes a breath is needed. The beauty about a telemedicine solution like Banty is that doctors can – if they so desire – designate a certain number of hours each week to have video conferences with patients.
This allows the doctor to conduct video call appointments with patients from their home office, or even a more remote location when need be. What’s more, if the weather goes sideways, or another circumstance makes it near impossible to open the clinic, certain appointments can easily be transferred into an online environment.