Even though telehealth has been around for decades, we really didn’t see a shift towards telehealth as an only option until 2020 during the pandemic. The medical community needed to pivot, as medical practices started to close their doors and moved in person appointments to telehealth appointments.
Telehealth uses various types of technology to deliver health services, such as mobile devices, video calls, or even email communication. Basically, it’s anything that is not in-person, which prompted the question: How do telehealth appointments benefit patients?
Increases in Treatment Time
Going to doctor’s appointments involves the dreaded waiting room. We’ve all been there, checking our watches to see if we’ll be accepted on time for our appointment or how long the office is running late. No one wants to wait in line for far longer than the time the physician is physically in the room with you. Telehealth drastically cuts down on wait time!
According to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), a traditional visit time is 121 minutes with only 16.7% of that being physician time whereas a telehealth visit averages 16 minutes with 62.5% of the visit allocated towards treatment. Eliminating the travel time to and from the appointment as well as the time spent in the waiting room makes telehealth a huge benefit to patients.
Makes Healthcare More Accessible
People are often hesitant to schedule a doctor’s appointment in the first place and then the likelihood of following through and attending is another obstacle. Telehealth brings healthcare to individuals, increasing patient engagement and making medical care patient centered. Virtual appointments are a game changer for those who live out in remote areas where transportation is harder to access, those who cannot afford to take time off from work or parents who cannot find childcare.
Decreases Exposure to Disease
One of the most beneficial aspects of telehealth is its ability to significantly decrease your exposure to other diseases and illnesses. When people are sick, they go to the doctor. This means that as you are waiting your turn to see the physician, you’re occupying the same space as those who are under the weather.
While our bodies have the ability to fight off infections, those who are immunocompromised do not have the same luxury. They are at an increased risk of getting sicker by physically going to a doctor’s office.
While not every appointment can be done through a virtual appointment, telehealth significantly increases the patient experience. Are you in need of an appointment? Contact us today to sign up for one.