Hospitals across the nation have been updating the way they run business thanks to advances in technology. These advances benefit both the hospitals and the patients they treat. The biggest advancement to watch for is the use of telemedicine. In this article, Julian Narchet, mass communication guru, shares five emerging telemedicine trends to observe.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, hospitals and doctors have been trying to sort out ways to provide their patients with better access to treatment, their payment options, and health records. Thus, this brought about telemedicine, an electronic route of communication, that connects patients with their hospitals better than ever before.
Because many people have struggled to make to the hospital for some appointments and there are dozens of things that shouldn’t require a trip to the hospital, such as requesting records or seeing a doctor for a simple ailment like pink eye, there was a need for telemedicine. Telemedicine has since cut costs and saved time for everyone, and continues to advance, making it easier for both sides. Here are a few telemedicine trends to keep an eye out for at your hospital.
1. Online Appointments
Not every issue requires a visit to the doctor, and some have trouble making the trip to the hospital for their various needs. Fortunately, one of the perks of telemedicine is that patients can now have access to a doctor from wherever they are through online appointments.
These online appointments are extremely convenient, confidential, secure, and affordable. Moreover, patients have access to a real doctor, or nurse for minor issues, such as pink eye, colds, rashes, allergies, fevers, flu, respiratory issues, and even UTIs. Some focus on promoting mental health and offer licensed therapists and counselors for people to talk to at a fraction of the cost of a traditional therapist. Many offer appointments for as little as $30, and doctors can even write prescriptions you can pick up at your local pharmacy.
2. Better Access to Health Records
Another reason why telemedicine is so convenient is that people are able to access their health records much easier than before.
Most hospitals offer their own version of eHealth, where patients can create their own account and access their test results, medical history, and other records at the touch of a button that they would otherwise have to go directly to the hospital for or wait days for them to arrive in the mail.
3. Better Payment Options
Patients can access their bills and set up payment plans through an online program, making it easier to keep track of their bills and pay them on time from the convenience of their own home.
4. More Access to Customer Service
Through telemedicine, patients can talk to their doctors, a nurse, or customer service through online messaging.
Whether a patient has a question about their bill, their health, or want to set up an appointment, they can do that without even speaking to another person on the phone. No more waiting on hold listening to elevator music!
5. Better Security
Lastly, telemedicine is about convenience and offering better access to healthcare, but it’s also about improving security.
Doctors and hospitals have always cared about their patient’s privacy, and a major concern about going online is that it will put patients at risk, but they are working diligently to continue to improve the security of their sites so their patients’ information is never compromised.
Furthermore, with ever-changing HIPAA laws, going online has allowed hospitals to update forms and paperwork with patients conveniently.
About Julian Narchet:
Julian Narchet is a marketing and mass communications professional, and a Communications Manager at the University of Miami. He has extensive experience in market research, academic research, research administration, social media, and public relations. He is passionate about making a difference in the lives of others through cooperation with non-profits and healthcare organizations.
Erik Jackson has been a senior editor at Health News Tribune for three years. Fluent in French and proficient in Spanish and Arabic, he focuses on diseases and conditions and the newest trends in medicine.