If you’re a New Yorker who’s been recently injured at work or in an auto accident, the idea of heading to your doctor’s office right now may be daunting. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many New York doctor’s offices flooded with patients. Where individuals once came for help, they now fear. Especially those who suffer from chronic illness or other underlying conditions.
Fortunately, modern technology offers a solution to keep you safe from COVID-19, while enabling you to get the treatment you need.
Here are the top 5 amazing things you never knew about telemedicine during COVID-19. Learn how you can receive needed medical care during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
To appreciate what telemedicine services can do for you, you must understand what they are. During this time of social distancing, the ability to visit with your doctor, without exposure to COVID-19 is essential.
Using telemedicine, doctors can now video-conference with patients from remote locations. All thanks to telemedicine services. This makes it easier for patients to speak with doctors whenever and from wherever needed.
You can even receive some diagnosis from the comfort of your own home.
From your computer screen to the doctor’s, you can share information. Doctors can even gather certain kinds of readings using medical devices from wherever they are.
Many doctors are now using telemedicine services that are HIPPA compliant. This means that while you are kept safe from COVID-19, your personal information is also protected.
Struggled to find top worker’s compensation doctors in New York? Now, thanks to telemedicine services, you can find a doctor who can consult with you online instead of in an office.
The possibilities opened up by this remote type of treatment are ever-widening.
Telemedicine services may sound like something from an old episode of Star Trek. But, that hasn’t stopped rising numbers of providers from using telemedicine. The number of hospitals and doctors now using telemedicine grows each year.
According to the American Hospital Association, the AHA, the number of American hospitals now using telemedicine services is up to 76%.
That’s a major leap in numbers since 2010 when only 35% of American hospitals were doing so.
In 2017 alone, more than half of American hospitals were monitoring patient statuses using some form of telecommunication technology.
It’s not a secret. Telemedicine is no longer a medical practice of the future. It’s a common practice today.
Healthcare organizations are also finding that more Generation-X and Millenial patients value streamlined medical care. These patients tend to prefer convenience and ease.
Younger generations of patients want to get high-quality medical care, on-demand.
To stay relevant, hospitals must keep up with patient demands. In many ways, telemedicine keeps providers competitive.
But what exactly does this mean for you as a patient?
The good news is, more hospitals using telemedicine mean more doctors you can choose from. If you want telemedicine services, your choice in doctors is growing.
For example, say you’re seeking a diagnosis or consultation on a workplace injury.
You don’t want to risk contracting COVID-19 by visiting your provider in person. With telemedicine services not only is finding a provider easier but receiving care is more doable.
In fact, depending on your condition and health, telemedicine could be ideal.
While healthcare providers are interested in catering to the fast-paced Millenial and Gen-X groups, there are many other patients interested in telemedicine.
Patient interest is on the rise, and where’s there’s interest, there’s opportunity.
Telemedicine services are especially helpful in obvious situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic. They help promote social distancing. But the appeal of telemedicine reaches beyond pandemics.
Rural communities benefit greatly from this technology. Patients in small tribes, or age-ed farmers in the midwest–all these groups benefit from immediate and remote access to a physician’s care.
Other highly interested patient groups include large families where dragging 4 kids to a pediatrician at one time is a nightmare.
Telemedicine has been a particular ray of hope to those struggling as refugees. During the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, one of the only ways most refugees are able to receive any kind of medical care is via telemedicine.
Telemedicine is the bridge between struggling patient populations and doctors who can offer help.
Because of these increasing numbers of interested patients, providers are working harder each year to improve the telemedicine services they can provide.
As a patient in dire need of help, but wanting to avoid a doctor’s office, there’s comfort in knowing that efforts to provide excellent care via telemedicine are a major priority for providers.
It may shock some to learn that practices of telemedicine actually began in the early 19th century.
With the invention of the telegraph, patients have been phoning doctors for centuries to receive medical care and remote diagnosis.
Especially during the time of the Civil War, telemedicine was a common and vital way to care for thousands of injured soldiers. Long lists of supplies were ordered via the telegraph.
Casualties were reported via telemedical methods and even medical consultations were given frequently during this time.
The fact is, telemedicine has been around for centuries. The idea of receiving a doctor’s consultation via high-resolution video conferencing and imaging ought to bring greater reassurance and confidence than the notion of speaking via the telegraph.
Despite telemedicine being used as early as the Civil War, medical uses of video communication have been commonly dated to 1959. In 1959, clinicians at the University of Nebraska transmitted neurological exams through two-way interactive t.v.
These experiences led to more and more uses of telemedicine to treat patients needing everything from psychiatric care to x-ray analysis.
The point is, telemedicine has been a long time in the making.
The first, and perhaps most obvious benefit of telemedicine services is that patients who were once unable to see their doctor easily, now can.
Many patients no longer need to travel long distances to see a doctor. For many rural patients, the burden of travel and the expenses related to it are great.
Telemedicine eliminates that needless expense.
Patients can even schedule a consultation during their work lunch-break. No more taking time off just to see your doctor.
Single parents? Telemedicine is a savior. No more need to hire a babysitter just so you can take care of your own basic medical needs. Video conference in and you can talk to your doctor from your living room.
Another benefit for patients: finding answers to concerning medical problems doesn’t have to be put off. Patients can receive diagnosis and treatment sooner than those having to travel to see their doctor.
Senior citizens who struggle to leave home are able to receive care more easily.
A highly important benefit during this age of pandemic: highly contagious patients do not risk exposing others to illness. Doctors, patients, and all medical personnel are protected.
But enough about patients, telemedicine is a blessing to doctors and even insurance companies too.
Think about it. Telemedicine is much more efficient in many ways. No more need for patients to schedule an appointment with a receptionist. No more waiting in waiting rooms for an hour plus.
Many telemedical Softwares include electronic medical software. This means doctor’s offices have easier and more organized access to medical records, medical streaming devices, AI diagnoses, and more.
Doctors are able to monitor and even check-in with patients in real-time. In the end, this provides better care for patients.
Providers can even enjoy the added benefit of seeing more patients without having to pay to rent larger office space or employ more office staff. This is a win-win for doctors who see more revenue and patients who don’t have to deal with long waits.
As telemedicine technology continues to advance, the cost savings will become even larger and more obvious. This will extend to insurance providers as well.
It may seem obvious that telemedicine services work well for primary care physicians, but it’s applications extended beyond the family doctor.
Emergency Rooms – Emergency rooms become overcrowded and crazy. Especially during this time of pandemic. With the use of telemedicine, doctors can see patients quickly via video chat to determine where they should be sent.
The level of severity for their case can also be assessed via chat so patients can be treated quickly.
Managing Chronic Illnesses – Doctors who help patients manage chronic illnesses can check in with patients using video chat. They can inquire about patient progress, prescription use and more.
Getting a 2nd Opinion – Aren’t sure you believe your doctor’s diagnosis? Seek a second opinion via video chat to save time and money. Or, to simply give you peace of mind.
Disaster Relief – In times of disaster or pandemic, healthcare workers are overloaded. Being able to video-conference providers in from remote locations can ease the burden placed on healthcare workers and patients immediately.
It can allow doctors from remote locations to treat and diagnose patients with less immediate or life-threatening needs.
Thus, freeing up live doctors to work with patients needing immediate physical care.
Radiology – Radiologists are perhaps one of the more common types of doctors to use telemedicine to do their jobs.
Thanks to telemedicine, radiologists can work almost anywhere and provide a diagnosis to patients and providers quickly.
Telemedicine services are remarkable in scope. A pandemic such as the COVID-19 shines a particular spotlight on the benefits of this form of medical care.
However, despite the manifold advantages of telemedicine as a form of patient care, there are some limitations to keep in mind.
While most providers who work via telemedicine adhere to strict HIPPA regulations, not all forms of communication are created equally secure. Telemedicine allows doctors to treat patients via text, phone, video conference, chat and more.
Regardless of the software used, there is always a risk when sharing personal/private medical information via some communication platforms.
Another obstacle to telemedicine services is that of licensing.
Some doctors may want to offer care to patients in other states using telemedicine. Unfortunately, treating patients outside of the state where you are licensed can be a tricky business if you are a doctor.
Doctors must obtain the right licenses to legally treat patients using telemedicine.
Of course, a doctor’s ability to touch, physically examine, and perform procedures on a patient is obviously inhibited by telemedicine. Surgeries and other serious procedures, as well as manipulative medicine of any kind, cannot be done via telemedicine.
Working with insurance providers to figure out payments and how to charge patients can be another challenge to physicians as time spent text or chatting online can be somewhat thicker to keep track of.
Still, for many purposes, it is a great way to treat patients and keep them safe during times of spreading disease.
You’ve heard it said a million times, “the COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented times.” Unfortunately, this is true. Perhaps no more so than in the field of medicine and medical care.
If you are currently in need of a physician to treat or diagnose a workplace injury but do not wish to risk an in-office visit, don’t stress. Telemedicine services may be the answer.
Accidents happen, even in times of pandemic. Let our patient advocates help you find the right doctor after an accident injury today. Stay safe. Stay healthy.
Call 1-800-897-8440 to find the right telemedicine doctors near you today!
NEW: Telemedicine Appointments are now available in the safety and security of your own home. Fill out the form below or call 1-800-897-8440 to schedule a virtual appointment with an experienced doctor who takes no-fault and workers’ compensation insurance.
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