With the COVID-19 epidemic raging, telemedicine is getting more press than ever before. Clinics are providing telemedicine services even if they cannot keep their doors open. However, telemedicine is nothing new and has been part of healthcare offerings for decades.
What is telemedicine, how does it work, and is it a good thing that telemedicine is becoming more and more prevalent?
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is defined as “healing from a distance”. Specifically, it refers to a doctor assessing, diagnosing, and/or prescribing treatment for an ailment remotely, without the patient having to walk into an office.
It includes many services where communication with a doctor is necessary, such as helping with reading and understanding health measures, post-surgery check-ins, and figuring out whether you are likely to need urgent care.
The difference between telemedicine and telehealth
Telemedicine is specific, as it refers to communication with a doctor remotely via telephone, video chat, or messaging. Telemedicine serves the purpose of allowing doctors to interact with their patients without them having to walk into the office.
Telehealth, however, is much more general. It refers to any and all remote healthcare services, and is not a service in itself. Online health education is a form of telehealth. So is patient scheduling. Telehealth aims to improve health outcomes for patients, rather than facilitate communication between doctor and patient.
Technically, telemedicine is part of the larger telehealth umbrella.
How Does Telemedicine Work?
Telemedicine works in one of two ways. The first common way is to simply have the patient schedule a call or a video call as an appointment. This is becoming more common as COVID-19 rages on.
The second way is through a patient portal which encompasses a greater deal of telemedicine services, such as allowing patients to refill prescriptions or schedule appointments. This is a more comprehensive telemedicine service.
The benefits of implementing telemedicine
- Increase your business’s reach. You can reach people who are in the more far-flung areas that might not be able to get to your practice regularly.
- Can update patients, and get updates from patients, more frequently.
- Can broaden the scope of your services, allowing for more comprehensive patient care.
If you are interested in offering telemedicine services to take advantage of these benefits, call us at 888-986-3638. At Sequence Health, we help healthcare providers improve their digital offerings and boost their online presence.