How Telehealth Enhances the Patient-Doctor Relationship
How Telehealth Can Bring Doctors and Patients Closer Together
Care providers are used to treating and seeing their patients in person, but telehealth can actually improve the doctor-patient relationship. Some providers may be uneasy with the idea of consulting with their patients remotely but communicating over live video and audio can be just as effective as meeting in person. Telehealth can also increase the rate of communication between doctors and their patients, so both parties can access the information they need when they need it most.
Learn more about how this technology can provide the same ease and familiarity as face-to-face patient interactions.
Preserving the Doctor-Patient Relationship
The latest telehealth software is designed to replicate the in-person experience as much as possible, so both providers and patients feel motivated to use these programs. With high-definition live video and clear audio, providers can easily see and communicate with their patients in real-time, as long as both parties have reliable access to the internet.
Doctors can clearly see and hear their patients during the virtual consultation, so they can properly diagnose their symptoms. Doctors are able to see and hear patients with the same accuracy as an in-person visit, allowing for diagnoses to be precise. Doctors can use these tools to address a wide range of health issues, including everyday aches and pains, rashes, the flu, and common cold, standard follow-up appointments, and even those recovering from surgery.
Both parties are free to ask questions and discuss treatment during the virtual consultation. The doctor can easily send a prescription to the patient, request that they come in for an in-person appointment or recommend treatment methods.
As telehealth continues to spread across the country, patients and doctors say they feel comfortable using this technology. About 74% of patients are comfortable with communicating with their doctors using technology instead of seeing them in person. That’s largely due to the fact that about 21% of patients who have used telemedicine services say the quality of care was similar to or higher than an in-person visit.
Increasing Access to Healthcare
Telehealth doesn’t fully replace in-person care, but it can supplement the doctor-patient relationship in a number of ways. When they have access to this technology, patients don’t have to worry about commuting to and from their local doctor’s office. They can quickly log onto their smartphone, tablet, or computer to access the information they need. Doctors also don’t have to worry as much about patients missing appointments, showing up late, or canceling at the last minute.
Minimizing the distance between care providers and their patients can enhance the doctor-patient relationship. Patients will be more willing to contact their doctor if it means they don’t have to take time off work or drive to and from the doctor’s office. They will also be more likely to keep their appointment.
Doctors can use these tools to increase the rate of patient communication. They can send reminders and updates to their patients in real-time, so they remember to take their medication, schedule an appointment, or log on for a quick consultation. This helps both parties stay in sync throughout the consultation and treatment process.
With remote patient monitoring, doctors can track the health of critically ill patients, including those recovering from surgery, those with chronic conditions, and elderly patients. Doctors can use wristbands and other tools to make sure their patients are staying healthy. These patients will have more peace of mind knowing that their doctor is regularly watching over their health.
Telehealth can also help patients take ownership of the healthcare they receive. Virtual consultations give patients the freedom to schedule appointments and consultations on their own schedule. They can also use this technology to connect with providers outside the immediate area, so they have more freedom in terms of choosing a care provider. About 53% of patients said that telemedicine somewhat or significantly increases their involvement in treatment decisions.
Telehealth is changing the way both parties approach the doctor-patient relationship. Virtual care can increase access to healthcare services, improve communication, and reduce the rate of missed or canceled appointments. Visit InTouch Health to learn more about how patients and providers can make use of this technology.