Telemedicine: Why video consultations are a good option for urgent care
Emergency care medicine began to expand in the 1990s. This was due to a decrease in the number of primary care appointments available. It was also due to frustration with long emergency room wait times. People’s desire for immediate access to healthcare (telemedicine) has only increased over the years, leading to rapid growth in the sector. Today, more and more providers are taking the convenience factor of emergency care to the next level by embracing video consultations.
Providers who want to increase access, generate more revenue per patient and reduce the cost of delivering care use telemedicine. Primary care practices also see video counselling as a way to compete with retail clinics and other healthcare providers.
What types of urgent care cases are handled by video (telemedicine)?
Although telemedicine visits are not suitable for all medical conditions and an in-office examination is sometimes necessary for treatment and diagnosis. Common conditions are safely and effectively treated by telemedicine technology. They include:
Cold and flu symptoms:
The treatment plan for a patient with cold or flu symptoms is often rest and hydration. The greatest benefit the patient receives from these types of visits is the reassurance that the problem is not too serious. Video consultations are easily used to provide care advice. This avoids having to come to the office when the patient is not feeling well. And helps prevent the spread of the virus.
Urinary tract and yeast infections:
Urinary tract infections and yeast infections are routinely treated by telemedicine technology. Especially for patients who have an established medical history with their provider. Patients can share their laboratory results virtually, get an interpretation of their diagnosis and receive appropriate medication prescriptions. And if symptoms persist, they are counseled to visit the office or emergency room.
Modern telemedicine technology takes advantage of high-resolution video, so it is often possible to diagnose and treat certain skin conditions.
What are the benefits for patients?
For patients, urgent care visits are just as urgent. This means that there is no possibility of planning transport, childcare, absences from work, etc. Video visits are therefore ideal for urgent care situations. Patients get the help they need without significantly disrupting their other responsibilities. Patients can also avoid unnecessary emergency room visits while receiving timely care through remote encounters. Additionally, video counselling helps prevent the spread of disease by eliminating contact with other sick patients.
What are the benefits for providers?
Providers who see certain patients via video can see more patients each day. Increasing practise efficiency and revenue without the need to hire additional providers or staff. Telemedicine reduces waiting times and also reduces the flow of appointments throughout the day. Some practices also show that they can broaden the nature of services offered to patients. Primary care practices are finding that adding remote visits to urgent care helps them maintain patient loyalty and better compete with the expanded urgent care options available to their patients.
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