Telemedicine has a great deal of promise in increasing patients’ access to care and reducing costs, but issues with billing and standards of care may hinder widespread adoption of this practice.
One of the primary benefits of Telemedicine is the convenience of it. Telemedicine eliminates the wait times at the office and helps to facilitate common reasons for visiting a doctor. Telemedicine also helps to enhance communication between healthcare providers simultaneously.
The primary issue with Telemedicine is that a doctor cannot perform a physical exam. This exam is necessary to properly diagnose certain conditions, meaning that a certain level of patient care cannot be provided through its use. Another issue with Telemedicine is that it is reliant on current technology. Unplugging of a modem, bad weather or a power outage on either side could hinder a consultation with a doctor, which is something that wouldn’t be hindered by a physical exam.
Thus, Telemedicine has many advantages, but there are also some disadvantages to it as well. It all depends on what is going on with each patient and whether a physical exam is necessary for a diagnosis. If a physical exam isn’t required, then Telemedicine could be a cost-effective, time-saving addition to the field of medicine that could greatly expand care.
Advocates for expanding the use of Telemedicine says that if handled properly, Telemedicine can improve overall quality of care. But widespread adoption will require some significant changes in how physicians deliver and are paid for these services.