Convenience has become a very important factor in most aspects of our lives. We’re all busy, we don’t have the extra time, we like things to be done fast and effectively. This can be seen in fast food drive-thrus, tap-to-pay transactions, ordering groceries online and never setting foot in the store, among much else. But can doctor visits become more convenient and fast while still being effective? How do virtual visits work? Of course there are limitations as virtual visits cannot do everything a doctor can do in-person but on average an in-person doctor visit takes only 7 minutes, likely a majority of these can be done remotely. Let’s break down some of the reasons why telehealth can actually be more effective than in person visits.
Convenience for Both Doctor and Patient
For many patients living in rural areas, visiting a doctor is not so easy. Patients may need to drive to another city to see an appropriate doctor for their situation, some may not have means of transportation, some may not have the ability to take a few days off work to travel so far to see a doctor. There are many factors that stop individuals from visiting a doctor when all they may need is a simple doctors note or prescription refill.
In other cases, telehealth and telemedicine is beneficial for doctors and practitioners in times where the doors to their facilities are unable to remain open for an indefinite amount of time. For example, the current global pandemic due to the novel coronavirus has caused many healthcare facilities to put a stop all face-to-face interactions to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus. With the implementation of telehealth and telecommunication during these times, many of these offices and facilities have been able to remain open for business virtually.
No More Waiting Rooms
Small waiting rooms are not only an annoyance and can take a lengthy amount of time but can also be problematic due to the number of sick people within close vicinity to one another, especially if some may be elderly or have already weakened immune systems. Virtual doctor visits still may have waiting rooms, but at least they’ll be from the comfort of your own home.
All physicians participating in virtual doctor visits are licensed, board certified, have malpractice insurance, can order tests and prescriptions, and are assigned to patients based on location and specific medical needs. These health care workers have also received sufficient training and competency to ensure they are effective in providing medical advice via telecommunications. Additionally, patients have comfort in knowing they will have access to their medical records and anything that was noted or documented during their virtual doctor visit, as well that these records are available to other health care professionals involved in the ongoing patient care.
Ultimately, patients are drawn to the idea of convenience and telehealth and telemedicine provide just that. With healthcare services essentially coming to patients instead of patients going out to receive healthcare services, virtual doctor visits offer an appealing, effective, and convenient option for many.