More and more doctors are considering adding telemedicine and concierge medicine business models to increase revenue streams and improve patient services. Many are finding that educating patients about the benefits of telemedicine as a cost-effective, hassle-free care delivery model is the best approach to increasing adoption rates.
Armed with smartphones, patients can schedule a same day appointment for both minor and major conditions. Doctors find telemedicine provides opportunities to consult with peers and specialists in the cloud to make faster, more accurate decisions — sometimes life saving decisions, such as identifying signs of a stroke or imminent heart attacks during virtual patient encounters.
Telemedicine allows patients access to faster appointments, often immediately or on the same day as the first request. Physicians can spend quality one-on-one time with patients and personalize health care without traveling to an office or clinic.
Doctors can now offer problem-focused visits for everything from a follow up for prescription renewals to highly complicated situations where a patient has multiple medical conditions and many providers. Virtual collaboration makes it more convenient to discuss potential drug contraindication with all providers using a secured digital platform.
Patients can reach their trusted physician from anywhere, anytime, even when they are traveling for business or vacation. There is no need to see another doctor if either is out of town. And, non-emergency issues — colds, dermatitis, ear pain, etc — can often be handled with a short virtual visit instead of waiting for an office visit.
Technology empowers physicians to monitor at-risk patients while giving patients more tools to control blood pressure, glucose levels and other health metrics from the comfort of their homes.
Telemedicine plus concierge medicine provide a dual solution. Patients can speak to and see a trusted doctor every time they have a problem. While virtual visits don’t allow doctors to actually listen to the heart or lungs or take a throat swab, it is possible to make a well-informed decision about when to request the patient come in for a visit. Concierge medicine ensures patients have access to a trusted group of provider when an in-person visit is the best answer. The combination is convenient, affordable and provides continuity of care necessary to build patient confidence.
In 2016, more than 15 million Americans participated in remote health care services. The American Telemedicine Association says the numbers are growing. Telemedicine encounters is the wave of the future, and the future is now.