Is Covid 19 And Telemedicine The Most Trending Thing Now?
COVID-19 and Telemedicine
The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed and drastically changed the method through which healthcare practices were delivered. Since the outbreak of corona virus, healthcare providers are deferring and preventing visits to decrease the risk of transmitting virus. On the other hand, many patients are also avoiding visits as they do not want to leave their homes and risk exposure to the virus. In this way, telemedicine adoption has accelerated rapidly since the beginning of covid-19. Telemedicine is the remote deliverance of healthcare services through the web. It is also known as e-health, mobile health or telehealth.
Importance of Telemedicine
Telemedicine is playing very vital role in decreasing the costs of travel for the patients in case of money as well as time. It has increased the access to medical care by mitigating the risks of corona virus contraction and also made it convenient for patients who might not otherwise be able to receive care or see a doctor. As before covid-19, patients who may have availed telemedicine were poor, disabled patients, elderly and those patients who lived very far to travel for a personal visit. Besides, telemedicine is considered as a well-suited way to provide healthcare services to rural areas and medically unserved urban areas. It is also very convenient during the times of emergency and hospital setting where doctors or specialists may not be available on the site. As virtual consultations are observed to limit the need of transportation of Emergency Department Patients to other facilities for care.
Cost-benefit analysis of telemedicine suggests that it is showing very promising results and assist in improving patient’s compliance and decreases the financial-cost related to the practices for no-show visits by reducing barriers to care. Moreover, it also has enhanced the workforce sustainability, limited the direct exposure between clinician and patient and reduced the use of personal protection equipment (PPE). Telemedicine has facilitated staffing process of both small and large facilities that are overwhelmed by patient overload related to the pandemic.
Telemedicine in the times of emergency
The pandemic has doubled the need for telemedicine and it has become the preferred mode of delivering care for both follow-up and new clinic patients. Telemedicine visits has generated the demand to educate healthcare professional on how optimize utilization in an effective way. Telemedicine is fostering field for healthcare sector especially for the practice of allergists or immunologists. Owing to this, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Health Informatics, Technology and Education (HITE) has established a Telemedicine Work Group to review different aspect of telemedicine such as utility, adoption processes, Billing, Electronic Medical Record (EMR) integration, education and other state specific issues.
There are multiple factors that contributed for the growth of telemedicine during the Covid-19 pandemic. For instance, the development of guidelines for the quarantine and social or physical distancing due to the Public Health Emergency (PHE), treatment of nonemergent patients outside the hospital to prevent deterioration in their health and to fulfill the urgently increased demand for the critical patients in the Emergency Departments or Intensive Care Units or High Dependency Units.
Hence, telemedicine is the most suitable or the ideal way for the safe treatment of patients while complying with the standards of social or physical distancing in the hope to decrease the spread of Covid-19.