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Surprising Facts About Telehealth and How It’s Changing Medical Care

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Telehealth

Surprising Facts About Telehealth and How It’s Changing Medical Care

Telehealth continues to surprise even its most adamant supporters. As more facilities and health networks adopt this technology, we continue to discover more ways in can be used. Telehealth has come a long way since it was first introduced back in the 1950s and 60s.

Today, telehealth is changing the way providers administer care to their patients. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of telehealth and how this technology continues to evolve, take at look at these surprising facts:

1. Physicians can resolve their patients’ issues during the initial telemedicine visit, on average, 83% of the time.

While some telehealth visits lead to in-person consultations, especially if the patient is dealing with an urgent medical issue, it seems most of these issues can be resolved with telemedicine alone. The vast majority of patients who use this technology can conveniently get the care they need just by logging onto their computer, smartphone or tablet. 

2. Almost 75% of all clinical visits, including doctor, urgent care, and ER visits, are either unnecessary or could be handled safely and effectively over the phone or via video. 

Every time a patient walks into their doctor’s office or the emergency room, there’s a 75% chance that they could have stayed at home. This statistic shows us just how valuable telehealth can be to healthcare facilities.

Healthcare providers won’t have to devote as many resources to patient care if clinicians can comfortably address patient issues via telehealth methods. Patients can stay at home where they feel more comfortable, which also reduces the chances of cross-contamination and the spread of disease. 

3. Around one in 10 physicians practice in rural areas in the U.S.

One in five Americans live in rural areas, yet just 10% of physicians practice in these areas. Accessing care in rural parts of the country can be a challenge. Patients may have to travel long distances to see the nearest care provider, wait in long lines, or delay treatment if they don’t have access to care.

Telehealth can ease the burden placed on rural care providers, helping them see more patients in less time. Rural Americans also won’t have to travel to see their care provider – who is often several miles from home – which helps them stay on top of their healthcare needs. 

4. Physicians resolve about 60% of telemedicine visits with a prescription.

According to a recent study from Connect with Care on the feasibility and cost of replacing in-person care with telehealth services, most telehealth visits can be resolved with a simple prescription. As this statistic shows, many patients do not need to be examined by a healthcare provider in person in order to receive a prescription.

Patients can describe their symptoms over the phone or video, while the doctor sends a prescription right to their local pharmacy, speeding up the treatment process. In other cases, a prescription may not be necessary at all. 

5. The majority of telehealth visits are used to treat low-acuity conditions, such as sinusitis. 

Flu season and the common cold continue to wreak havoc on the general population, leading to sinus infections, fever, body aches, coughing, and other respiratory issues. While these conditions aren’t considered life-threatening, they can be a major inconvenience for patients.

Recent numbers show that more patients are using telehealth for sinusitis than any other type of condition, accounting for around 20% of all telehealth visits. Telehealth can help patients receive treatment without an in-person consultation, so they can relieve their flu or cold as quickly as possible without the inconvenience of traveling to a doctor’s office.

As we can see, telehealth continues to evolve in some surprising ways. Patients are increasingly using this technology to gain treatment for routine health concerns, such as sinusitis, the common cold/flu, and other concerns that can be resolved with a simple prescription. Hopefully, these facts and statistics shed light on the true value of telemedicine. Stay tuned as we continue to explore the benefits of telehealth and its effect on both patients and providers alike.