Video conferencing has proven beneficial in many areas, healthcare included. Let’s discuss some of the most important advantages of video conferencing in healthcare and why healthcare professionals worldwide should strive to implement telemedicine on a day-to-day basis.
Doctors Diagnose and Treat Much Faster
Video conferencing allows doctors to see more patients much faster. Neither patients nor doctors need to worry about conflicting schedules since video conferencing enables them to have an appointment wherever and whenever they want.
Moreover, patients are more likely to show up to their online appointments, even if something unexpected happened on that day. Thus, hospitals do not lose money, and doctors do not waste time waiting for patients that will never come.
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There Is No Need to Spend Time on Traveling
Time is precious, especially when emergency strikes. Sometimes there is simply no time to lose, and professional help is needed at this very moment.
Instead of wasting time traveling to a clinic, it can be much more practical for the patient to connect to their doctor via a video conference.
The doctor can instruct the patient what to do while the emergency vehicle is on the way.
Video conferences are much more effective than calls in such situations since they allow the doctor to see the patient and clearly understand what they are doing. Sometimes doctors may even demonstrate the required actions, which is often more helpful than simply hearing the instructions over the phone.
A time factor is crucial for doctors since they may sometimes encounter an urgent case where they have to act fast despite the lack of expertise.
If there is no time to wait for an expert, they can call the said expert and follow their instructions via a video conference. This practice, although not ideal, can save lives.
The time aspect is especially poignant in rural areas, where specialized doctors and hospitals are scarce. It is also pretty important in big cities where traffic jams are commonplace.
When there is no time to cover the doctor and the patient’s distance, a video conference should serve as a viable alternative.
There Is No Need to Spend Money on Traveling
Healthcare is already way too expensive in some countries, and patients shouldn’t be forced to pay extra to get to a specific location.
It is important to remember that not all patients live in areas with good public transport, and some should pay for the expensive taxi service.
Some patients may refuse treatment altogether when they cannot afford to cover traveling expenses, leading to gruesome consequences.
Family can often help, but it is clear that not everybody has got one. Even if it is the case, not every patient lives close to their immediate relatives. Whether the family can get the patient to a qualified professional or not should affect their treatment quality.
It is worth noting that video conferencing benefits hospitals as well, especially when they do house calls. When paying for one medic to go to a specific patient may not seem like a big deal, such trips do add up. In the end, they become a substantial financial burden on even the most profitable hospital.
Video conferencing in healthcare allows doctors to examine and diagnose patients right from their office. They can then determine whether an in-person meeting is necessary.
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Less Stress and Fewer Costs for the Patients
Patients, especially those with addictions, may often feel stigmatized for going to specialized treatment facilities. Outpatient care via video conferencing can help lessen the stigma and decrease the overall treatment stress level.
Hospital visits can be pretty stressful for patients with disabilities, movement disorders, and psychiatric issues. To avoid stress, the doctors can performe certain examinations in a video conferencing format. A doctor can then decide if they need to see the patient face-to-face.
Patients can get monitored and treated from the comfort of their homes, surrounded by their friends and family. In addition to that, they get to avoid significant financial spending that comes with in-house hospital care.
The latter is especially relevant for patients that move to a different country, but do not yet have that country’s health coverage. In that case, they can continue their treatment by talking to their doctor from abroad via a video conference.
Moffitt Cancer Center implemented video conferencing for patient orientation, employee updating, and general examinations. Patients can also watch recordings to better understand their diagnosis and the required treatment since medical terms can be pretty confusing.
This is just one of many examples where video conferencing has been effectively integrated into the hospital routine. Since the industry is expected to grow, there will be many more in the future.
Better Training and Career Opportunities
Before video conferencing, medical professionals had to travel to physical locations to share their knowledge and skills with colleagues. Granted, not everyone could afford to take a break from their hospital duties, so many doctors were simply left behind.
This is not the case in the 21st century. Nowadays doctors can connect to a video conference during their lunch break and get all the latest industry news and updates. They can discuss various treatment methods and innovations, share helpful tips, and be a part of the healthcare community.
Video conferences in healthcare help build trust and improve communication between employees, as evidenced by Forbes Insights research. Trust is crucial in the healthcare industry, where people need to act as a team and face difficult decisions daily.
Medical students also benefit from video conferencing, since they no longer need to travel halfway across the country to observe rare operations. They can just connect to the special telepresence tech and watch the surgery in real-time.
Because more students can connect to a video conference than fit into an operating room, more will have this opportunity to learn and grow as medical professionals. What is more, they can watch a surgery recording later to cement their knowledge.
All these factors level the field for doctors worldwide and make it easier for everyone to succeed. Doctors with better career opportunities are more motivated to be good at their job and continue improving their skillset.
Cleaner Environment in the Hospitals
People who are stuck in registration and waiting rooms would often spread their infections to other patients and doctors. Medical students who visit hospitals to learn and the train would often involuntarily do the same.
Video conferencing has proven to be more conducive to the cleaner hospital environment and, as a result, the patients’ overall well-being.
As you can see, there are innumerable benefits to video conferencing in healthcare. Here are the main perks every hospital should consider:
- Doctors and patients find it easier to reconcile their schedules for video conferencing
- Patients from remote locations do not need to spend time and money on travel
- Doctors can avoid house calls and save the hospital’s time and money
- Patients are more likely to get immediate help in an emergency
- Doctors get better training from rare experts located in different parts of the world
While video conferencing will never completely substitute in-person checkups, it can significantly streamline hospital services and make treatment available to more patients, regardless of their location, financial situation as well as physical and emotional state.
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