For years, a not-so-simple healthcare structure in the United States has presented a myriad of problems for the general public. Financial burdens of paying for doctor visits, the inconvenience of taking time off work for appointments, and location limitations that may offer minimal local access to specialists, to name a few, can cause something as important as physical health to add unnecessary stress to everyday life.
But today, in a world of growing technology, these stresses may become a thing of the past. The answer may be Telehealth. For years, telehealth was infeasible for many healthcare companies as it required sophisticated, high-dollar technology and a difficult transition stage from the current ways of healthcare. But now the benefits of telehealth can be tapped into through something as simple as the click of a link on a smartphone or through internet access on a home laptop. As more people have implemented technology into their everyday lives and have ready access to it, even the older generations, the practicality of telehealth is growing. Now the public can begin reaping the benefits of a more convenient approach to their health care.
Benefit #1: No Travel Necessary
One great advantage of telehealth is eliminating unnecessary travel, especially that which would interfere with an already-packed schedule. According to the Affiliated Workers Association, 70% of doctors visits can be handled over the phone. (1) Why take the morning off to sit in a stuffy waiting room only to have a quick conversation with your doctor that was much shorter than all the trouble it took to sit in the same room with them? Telehealth appointments are like housecalls, except nobody has to jump in their car to get there. That means the cost of gas and commute time are completely eliminated, saving both you and your physician time and money. This also makes healthcare accessible for people who are unable to travel as well, like those who are disabled or live in rural communities.
Benefit #2: Cost Reduction
Telehealth not only saves gas money; it reduces overhead costs, as well. The cost of an emergency room visit usually averages around $1,743.00. Doctors office visits average at $146.00. Cut your doctor visit cost in half, and that’s about what you’ll pay for a telehealth visit, since on average a virtual appointment will only cost you $79.00. Telehealth enables the future of medical bills and other expenses to be reduced drastically, providing ease to bank accounts across the country and more fulfilling lifestyles as a result. (2)
Benefit #3: Life Balance
Probably the biggest advantage for most people regarding telehealth is the life balance it provides. There’s no need to take time off work when you can schedule your appointments over a lunch break. On top of that, no waiting room time is necessary, which will decrease the possibility of contracting new illnesses while being in a place where sick people gather for help. This not only protects you, but the health and well-being of your family, and everyone you come into contact with. Worried about finding childcare during your doctor’s appointment? Fortunately, you won’t need it if you’ve scheduled a telehealth visit! You can spend some time talking with your doctor without missing a beat at home, work, or anywhere for that matter.
Benefit #4: Convenience of Time
With a telehealth platform, you’ve got time on your side. With an almost entirely virtual customer side of operation, available hours for visits are extended considerably. Cancellation and rescheduling can be less of an issue as well. You don’t have to worry about being a no-show if you are able to communicate with your physician first hand about your schedule changes. (2)
Benefit #5: Specialist Access
Many people fail to get the help they need when their conditions require a specialist’s opinion because of the lack of specialists in their area, travel time, or the urgency of their need. Fortunately with telehealth, you can have access to the right specialist for your condition without undergoing travel hours and additional expenses. (3) Telehealth expands patient bases beyond physical facilities, allowing for more people to get the help they need, when they need it.
Benefit #6: Better Communication
In instances that require home monitoring, telehealth allows physicians to be more engaged with their patients and be better informed about their needs and habits. Remote monitoring can give telehealth providers better insight into the lives and practices of their patients, and therefore they will have a better base of knowledge to prescribe from.
All in all, telehealth is making leaps and bounds for the healthcare industry in areas of convenience, availability, and balance financially and physically. Telehealth will greatly benefit all who use it, both patients and physicians alike! Ask your physician about your options for telehealth today!