Telemedicine, also known as an option for remote patient care, is not a trend in healthcare. It was in use for a long time prior to it was the time of COVID-19 pandemic. It was only after the coronavirus epidemic that most people made Telemedicine popular and accepted. As more people adopt the concept of Telemedicine, it will continue to grow and expand its impact on the healthcare industry.
Telemedicine: A Practical Healthcare Option
The Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines “telemedicine” as the application of electronic communication and telecommunications technologies to improve remote health care, public health administration, and professional and patient health education. The technologies comprise Internet streaming media, store-and-forward imagery, video conferencing, wireless and wired communications, as well as mobile technology.
Research suggests that Telemedicine can be an equally efficient substitute for visits to a doctor in person to diagnose and manage certain medical conditions, for example, acute childhood illnesses, minor injuries, and respiratory issues in the early warning sign of COVID-19. The pandemic has shown the benefits of Telemedicine as an alternative to healthcare on demand and has expanded its reach across the nation.
Experts remain committed to a doctor’s touch’s irreplaceable significance and efficiency. Telemedicine expands the reach of this touch to be a way for patients to connect and receive medical care. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is one example. It provides a list of possible uses for the ability to access healthcare remotely during moments when an in-person visit isn’t feasible or practical, for example, the use of Telemedicine:
- Patients are followed up after receiving treatment in the hospital
- Provide urgent, low-risk medical attention for non-COVID-19 related conditions.
- Determine if patients require more medical advice or an evaluation
- Support and coach patients with chronic health issues, including diet and weight management counseling.
- Provide occupational therapy, physical therapy, and other therapies. as a hybrid of in-person and online care
- Check for clinical signs of chronic medical ailments (e.g., blood pressure, blood glucose levels, etc.)
The rapid increase in patients who use telemedicine services comes from technological advances and the ways in which healthcare providers (HCPs) provide successful health outcomes. This transformation improves the relationship between doctor and patient, and more details on this are below.
Let’s quickly get to the bottom of things to learn how the relationship between doctor and patient works.
What is the Relationship between Doctor and Patient, and how it Works
As per the Code of Medical Ethics, the relationship between a doctor and a patient is when a doctor attends to a patient’s medical needs. Communication involvement, engagement, and education determine the nature of the relationship, and the relationship further develops based on the trust and trust that develops through the process.
Research studies suggest that the nature of the doctor-patient bond affects the outcomes of patients. The bond develops when a patient goes to an ophthalmologist complaining of particular health conditions. The doctor evaluates the symptoms and diagnoses, then explains the treatment options, obtains consent, and offers treatment until healing or the person locates another physician.
There is more to the doctor-patient relationship than the way it is described in the contract. Sometimes, patients share more than just symptoms like fears or behaviors they are unwilling to divulge to any other person. Patients also assist doctors in discussing, planning, and delivering quality healthcare according to their knowledge and beliefs about what will suit their individual needs.
The trust built within a physician-patient relationship aids in the healing and health of patients. Through the years, this relationship was inclined towards being centered around the doctor, and the healthcare system was based mainly on the doctor’s viewpoint.
In recent times, however, the doctor-patient relationship has changed. The relationship now examines the importance of patients in the field of healthcare. Doctors and patients now function together in care management through the model of care that is patient-centered. This is a method that lets doctors are able to enter the world of patients to learn more about their perspectives.
How Can Telemedicine Improve The Doctor-Patient Relationship?
Creating a patient-centered model allows medical practices to be adapted to how patients see and manage their lives. Telemedicine assists in transforming the patient-doctor relationship to ensure quality medical healthcare, high satisfaction levels, reduced costs, and enhanced communication.
As a result of the growth of Telemedicine and the growing relationship between doctor and patient into a closer connection regardless of distance, the relationship becomes more intimate, even when virtual and remote interactions. In addition, with Telemedicine, doctors and patients are more involved in managing their care even when messaging, not even in real-time scenarios.
The following factors can facilitate this positive change in the doctor-patient relationship:
- Patients and Healthcare Providers Appreciate the Wide Range of Services that Telemedicine Offers.
Telemedicine provides a variety of options for patient care, including two-way text messages to HIPAA-compliant video conferences. Telemedicine allows HCPs to send individual and customized reminders to patients in order to ensure active participation in managing their health.
- Healthcare providers are now more easily accessible through the help of Telemedicine.
Patients can are able to easily access their medical professionals and connect with them regardless of distance. Advancements in technology have made it possible to offer healthcare without boundaries or obstacles.
- Patients and HCPs don’t have to worry about expenses with Telemedicine.
An in-person appointment for a patient can be more than just co-pay transportation. Time in traffic, childcare, and missed work are all costs they may be liable for by having virtual visits, where they remain at home or work, or wherever at the moment patients can avoid the additional cost of seeking treatment, which saves them money.
- Telemedicine can be beneficial for patients.
Telemedicine lets healthcare patients easily allow patients to make appointments and visit their doctor from the comfort of their homes at the time they prefer. The need to leave work, for instance, to visit the doctor’s office, is no longer necessary, thanks to virtual telemedicine appointments. Patients also receive the required medical treatment with no hassles of waiting in the office waiting times or erratic journey times to the clinic.
- Telemedicine is a good option for medical procedures.
Telemedicine drastically reduces the number of calls made and improves staff efficiency by allowing patients to interact with doctors by texting. Telemedicine platforms, like Hucu.ai, illustrate this approach’s benefits, allowing patients to make, cancel and change appointments via text and decreasing the number of no-shows by patients.
- Doctors keep track of the health of patients on a regular basis from a distance.
Telemedicine allows doctors to keep track of a patient’s medical conditions remotely. The important medical data that health professionals receive from the patient, sometimes from a distance, lets them keep an eye on the patient’s health and swiftly modify treatment if needed.
The result is that the telehealth system improves patient-centered care.
It’s not about the contradiction between the development of patient care and the growing distance between doctors and patients that have Telemedicine changing the doctor-patient relationship. It serves as a bridge that sustains their evolving and growing relationship.
Telemedicine increases the acceptance and application of the patient-centered model of care. It is a healthcare model that encourages the active involvement of patients and their families in caring for their health issues. It encourages collaboration between HCPs and patients during their diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Patients are now in greater control over their health and the doctor-patient relationship, so shifting towards a more one-to-one approach is essential. Telemedicine is the solution to this change.