Telemedicine Into Your Daily Schedule [How To Guide]
Telemedicine is sometimes used as a synonym for telehealth and e-medicine because it allows the distribution of healthcare-related services around the world using electronic information and telecommunication. This reduces the long gap between the providers and the patients by providing a connection. It facilitates clinical contacting, caring, advising, monitoring, intervening, reminding, educating, and provision of remote admissions. Everything is done without any physical contact, except in some cases.
The best example of this kind of service is, what we are experiencing for the past two years. Yes, you are guessing it right. The ultimate “COVID-19 pandemic”.
What did we not see at the start? We saw people running for care to hospitals, there was a lack of physicians, medicines, beds, facilities, etc, People couldn't reach any care in time, resulting in loss of lives. Then there was the sudden surge in the growth of online applications and services, to reach people who weren't able to reach the hospital care directly for even smaller services.
Telemedicine widely helped physicians and service providers by giving them ways to reach their patients easily.
This solves the problems faced due to lack of mobility, transport, epidemic or pandemic, lockdowns, low funding, lack of medical staff limited access to care, and so on.
Telemedicine mainly concentrates on “remote clinical services”
The World Health Organization uses telemedicine to describe all aspects of health care including preventive care.
Types of telemedicine
Three main types of telemedicine can be used to provide easier service to remote areas. They are,
1. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)
It is also known as telemonitoring, self-monitoring, or testing, which enables healthcare professionals to track their patients’ vital signs and other health information from a long distance. Remote Patient Monitoring is done by monitoring patients outside the traditional clinical settings by using telecommunications. It can be done at one’s home or any private/remote place of their choice. This reduces the concerns regarding access to the services.
Its popularity is quickly rising as more healthcare professionals realize its potential effect on chronic health care. Early detection of problems by using this method, reduces high-risk hospitalization at the very last moment.
Store-and-forward telemedicine deals with the collection and transfer of patient data like medical images, videos, x-rays, biosignals, etc, to an authorized physician, radiologist, or a specialist at a different location, offline. It is also called asynchronous, as it does not need the presence of the consulting physician, patient, or specialist at the same time.
Departments like dermatology, radiology, and pathology are the most common users of this type of asynchronous telemedicine. This transfer of data needs to be in an electronic form, that contains a proper medical record. The physician or the clinician who uses those information needs to be dependent on the history report and the audio/video information instead of a physical examination.
3. Real-time/Interactive telemedicine
Real-time/interactive telemedicine uses real-time audio/video communication which connects the patients with their physicians or between or among the physicians/specialists. It is synchronous telemedicine that needs both sides present at the same time.
This type of telemedicine became extremely popular in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Healthcare professionals can monitor, diagnose and give treatment advice to their patients through chats, phone calls, videos calls, etc, using this facility. They also use video telephony, which has the technologies for receiving and transmitting audio-video signals by users at different locations, for communicating in real-time.
Telemedicine as a new concept develops at lightning speed in this digital world. It expands access to quality patient care, especially to the unreserved populations where it is most needed.
Applying Telemedicine scheduling in the daily routine may seem confusing and difficult. Here are some tips to do that efficiently.
The first step starts with getting a telehealth application. Telemedicine service providers can help them with that.
These applications provide ready-to-use features, many subscriptions plans to select from, according to their need and usage, etc, reducing complications.
The patients can register themselves and list their ailments to reach out to doctors and the doctors connect with them via video, chat, or phone calls and accept payment immediately, as simple as that.
Adjust scheduling: To your need
The most popular solution regarding scheduling by far is the time block method. In this method, the provider blocks a particular time for telemedicine purposes alone. This procedure avoids multiple scheduling and helps in maintaining them organized.
All the appointment scheduling happens in the telemedicine platforms within the blocked time. The patients can self-schedule appointments using the app. Later, the healthcare professional can make changes to it, according to their convenience, without making the patient wait or re-schedule. Some physicians/groups do this daily, but some follow a single period throughout a week, depending on the number of appointments.
1. For those who are in travel
Telemedicine is most used by providers who are frequent travelers, and those who may need to provide services that keep them away from hospital/clinical premises.
In these cases, they ought to offer their services through telemedicine by scheduling their appointments on a fixed time, for one or more days a week. So that they can deal with the appointments as well as handle their non-clinical works. The providers who travel more may benefit from this type of telemedicine scheduling.
2. On-call Scheduling
On-call scheduling is a type, where the provider makes themselves available during the off/after-hour of their work. This type of schedule offers flexibility to those providers, who want to offer telemedicine services during their leisure time.
They may often require prior permission from the already scheduled appointments, to re-schedule them, to their off time and also should make sure that the users know their provider is available for on-call services.
On-call schedules are limited to a particular timeframe. Appointments that are scheduled at inappropriate and wrong hours can be changed easily with a click. Making it an official off/after-hour telemedicine schedule may be considered for reimbursement in some cases.
3. Open Schedule
This option is open to those who are available all day, without any other commitments, to review and approve appointments. And it suits the providers who are ready to accept last-minute appointments in cases of urgency and emergencies.
They should fix some reminders and or create an appointment approval process to make sure they are reminded/ notified before the scheduled visits. This helps large groups, who are using the queuing systems to manage and transfer patients to the appropriate providers.
Wait for none
After reading everything given above, you will now have a clear idea about the benefits of including telemedicine in your healthcare practices. Telemedicine can take you closer to your users more easily than you are now.
And don’t get any doubts about choosing the best telemedicine platform. "Vozo" platform is exclusively here to help you with that task. Don’t worry about the procedures and all. We will handle everything for you, you just sit, relax and leave this up to us.
“Let’s make your healthcare processes efficient through telemedicine, together”