At some point, maintaining our distance from one another was our only lifeline. While physical connections were lost, telemedicine and patient experience bridged patients and practitioners within a united network.
Despite its positive role, the global and local position of telemedicine does not match its potential and effects. Read on to explore its benefits, barriers, statistics, and role in your patient experience.
What is Telemedicine?
Prior to dictating a verdict on telemedicine services, it is crucial to understand what it is.
The term refers to connecting patients and their respective physicians by communicating virtually, through real-time messaging or video call. Thus, it eliminates the need to visit hospitals and clinics. More specifically, a telemedicine programme applies to a series of medical procedures, such as consultation, diagnosis, and treatment.
Technological advancement moves at an exponential rate. In parallel, the healthcare industry utilises the momentum to prioritise individuals who endure common and unique conditions.
Telemedicine and Patient Experience: Know the Advantages & Barriers
To demonstrate, one of its core benefits is uplifting everyone’s right to healthcare — reaching remote and rural areas.
Early Diagnosis & Prevention
Evidently, early diagnosis alters the whole path of a patient’s medical journey and this is widely acknowledged. Regardless, the rate of such still requires an increase.
- Lack of practitioners and clinics in your area.
- High levels of anxiety tied to hospital visits.
- Unpredictable high costs.
Optimising Costs and Patient Experience through Telemedicine
In a 2020 study by the JMIR, telehealth reduces patient costs. Accordingly, telehealth removes travel, implements an efficient follow-up system, increases productivity, and reduces secondary care and prolonged hospitalisation.
While a series of symptoms motivate a hospital visit, patients risk acquiring a new infection — also known as Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAI).
Based on the findings of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare, approximately 180,000 patients in Australia experience HAIs per year. These cases extend hospital stays, reduce the number of available beds, and heightens the patient’s medical bills. Although, the significance of telemedicine is emphasised by preventing HAIs.
Fast Statistics on Patient Experience with Telehealth
Conducted by 13 individuals in 2020, these are the results of a cross-sectional survey study with 596 participants:
- 61.9% found the telemedicine experience to be “as good as” or “better than” traditional appointments and consultations.
- On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being not useful and 5 being very useful, the average was a 3.67.
- Poor telemedicine experience resulted in males with mental health disorders and a low patient activation score.
What are the Barriers of Telemedicine in Australia?
Regardless of its evident benefits, the hesitation to adopt telemedicine in Australia stems from 6 factors:
- Patients prefer physical touch and face-to-face communication with their physician.
- Relative absence of integration between the local healthcare system and Australian telemedicine is present.
- Poor Internet and technological device access in rural areas.
- Lack of interest in learning how to operate a smart device, such as a desktop or mobile device.
- Patient’s current doctor does not participate in telemedicine.
- Complications with purchasing prescriptions and accessing results.
Although, telemedicine services in Australia are seeing an increase in adoption rate since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Top 4 Providers of Telemedicine for Patient Experience
“Instant Consult provides you with the ability to have a health consultation with an Australian registered, fully qualified and experienced Doctor via video call, anywhere in Australia.”
“Clinica Technologies caters to Australia’s need for a harmonious industry of telemedicine and telehealth through an integrated network of services. Ultimately, the creation of Clinica Technologies arose from the evident flaws and shortcomings present in the industry.”
“Founded in Australia in 2011, GP2U is Australia’s only dedicated online medical practice. Our goal is to deliver healthcare to our patients on their terms, by allowing consultations to occur where and when it suits them.”
“DOCTO is a telehealth platform providing patients with accelerated access to a large network of Australian Specialists in over 25 disciplines via video consultation.”
What is the Importance of Telemedicine to the Patient?
Apart from the discussed advantages, the importance of the telemedicine programme exceeds the medical implications.
Telemedicine and telehealth offers autonomy for patients — the freedom of choice.
Prior to the rise in telemedicine services, individuals did not have the privilege of choosing to stay home when desiring medical assistance. Whether your condition or age causes immobility or you simply resonate with at-home care surrounded by family, a telemedicine company hands patients with the freedom to choose.
For any enquiries regarding our telemedicine platform, please do not hesitate to complete our contact form.