With the introduction of 4G and 5G mobile networks, the patient-doctor relationship has changed for the better. Health care providers can now deliver treatments to patients in remote locations as long as both sides have reliable internet access. During the virtual consultation, doctors can see and hear their patients clearly, allowing them to accurately assess and diagnose their symptoms.
In this blog, we discuss in detail the impact of telehealth on the healthcare system at large and the role it has played in enhancing patient-doctor relationships.
What exactly is telehealth communication?
Telehealth communication combines digital technology and telecommunications to provide services such as health education, healthcare, and health-related information, all of which are given with ease using technology.
NASA was one of the pioneers in telehealth. In the mid-twentieth century, it used remote patient monitoring equipment to examine astronauts’ physiological functioning.
However, the most significant advances in the use of remote monitoring technology for telehealth have happened in the last ten years, with a growing body of research demonstrating their efficacy in chronic disease management, healthcare accessibility, and healthcare affordability.
Benefits of Telehealth
Information and communication technology advancements have always had a positive impact on healthcare. This was particularly evident during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic when telemedicine capabilities were at full use to ensure people had continued access to healthcare even while at home.
So while telehealth was initially developed to connect doctors with patients from remote areas, it is now increasingly used to connect patient-doctor relationship in the same geographic location, albeit to keep them secure at home.
Here’s a list of some of the key benefits offered by telehealth:
- One of the most appealing aspects of telehealth is that it makes quality healthcare accessible to people in remote areas where the healthcare infrastructure is poor. Telehealth is enabling healthcare providers across all disciplines to offer at-home treatment options to patients in different parts of the world.
- The only thing that patients need to use telehealth services is an internet connection and an audio/video communication device. The days of spending hours in a waiting room to see a doctor are long gone—6 in 10 people who have used telehealth services said the time spent in the virtual waiting room was also less than an in-person visit.
- Telehealth makes healthcare available with little or no mobility. It reduces healthcare delivery costs exceedingly. Since patients can consult remotely, they are no longer required to spend on traveling, lodging, and other expenses.
- Removes any risk of infection control problems (COVID-19). While telehealth existed and was used before the pandemic, there is no doubt that the lockdown made it more extensively used and recognized.
- Ever since the Covid-19 outbreak, healthcare infrastructure has been under tremendous stress. Hospitals in all major cities operate at near to full capacity. The patient burden on health providers has doubled due to rising infection rates among nurses and other frontline staff. Telehealth extends healthcare outside of hospital walls, alleviating enormous demand on traditional healthcare facilities.
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Setting New Benchmarks in Doctor And Patient relationship
Patient and doctor communication is critical in the practice of medicine. The quality of patient treatment and care determines the strength of the relationship to a large extent.
To maintain long-term outstanding relationships, it is always vital to have a favorable patient-doctor connection. A doctor who knows the patient’s medical history, lifestyle, and behavioral psychology is more likely to provide personalized care.
For the development of patient-doctor relationships, in-person interactions are essential. Telehealth solutions may not be able to totally replace in-person care, but technology can certainly help to improve patient-doctor relationships in a variety of ways.
- Telehealth offers more people the option to get the treatment they need at a lower cost than in-person care. By eliminating geographical barriers, telehealth offer patients easy access to quality healthcare at all times.
- Patients can also skip long wait times by connecting to their cellphones or computers and quickly accessing the information they require. Doctors no longer have to worry about keeping track of appointments. Overall, telehealth has streamlined patient and doctor communication for better efficiency and care.
- Many patients who previously complained about doctors spending too little time with them during consultations are now satisfied with teleconsultation, in which they receive the doctor’s full attention during the period allotted. By overcoming traditional bottlenecks, telehealth strengthens doctor and patient relationships.
- Another advantage of telehealth services is the improved level of patient anonymity. However, there is always room for improvement, particularly in the areas of patient data encryption, sharing, and security.
In reality, telehealth is changing telemedicine for patient and doctor communication. Many physicians see telehealth as a method to bridge the distance between doctors and patients, as it improves communication and reduces the number of missed appointments.
Telehealth- Bringing Quality Healthcare to Those in Need
As the world’s health care demands have grown significantly over the last century,
the significance of telehealth as the main vehicle for delivering timely care over distance has quadrupled.
Half of the world’s population does not have access to basic medical care. Every year, a substantial number of families are forced into poverty as a result of having to pay for their health care.
At the moment, 800 million people spend at least 10% of their household budget on health care, whether for themselves, a sick child, or another relative. Health costs for around 100 million individuals in developing and underdeveloped countries are so exorbitant that they are forced into extreme poverty, requiring them to live on $1.90 per day or less.
Telehealth improves efficiency and patient-doctor relationship without increasing net costs, minimizes patient travel and wait times, and allows patients in remote areas or areas with provider shortages to receive the same or better care. Telehealth can also improve patient satisfaction by improving access to care, making it more convenient, and reducing
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Telehealth technologies are increasingly being adopted and deployed as a cost-effective and efficient means of delivering and receiving high-quality healthcare services and outcomes.
Overall, telemedicine will continue to improve doctor-patient relationships by enhancing interaction and, as a result, building trust. Ease of coordination, greater accessibility, and patient contentment are three primary driving forces of telemedicine that serve to improve patient-doctor relationship. It may not be able to completely replace traditional practice, but it is a valuable tool for enhancing it.