Telemedicine has big advantages for healthcare providers and patients alike. Providers are able to see patients more efficiently and expand their markets. Patients avoid the hassle and cost of going into an office each time they need care. For a long time, technological challenges and costs kept the use of telemedicine relatively limited. But today, the widespread availability of high-speed internet connections and devices with high-definition video capabilities has made it possible for the use of telemedicine to be greatly expanded. Now providers of many types are able to offer the option of video visits.
Primary Care Practices
Video visits are used by primary care practices as a way to enhance the service they offer to patients. Here are a few of the common uses of telemedicine in primary care:
- Follow- Up Visits: Primary care practices find that offering a follow-up visit via video makes it easy for patients to comply with the provider’s instructions and ensure that the patient is improving as expected.
- Medication Management: Patients with chronic conditions or those who are on a medication for a long time enjoy the convenience of video visits for medication management.
- Reviewing Test Results: A video visit is an excellent way for a provider to discuss laboratory or radiology results without requiring the patient to trek into the office.
Mental Health Providers
The use of telemedicine by mental health providers is sometimes called Telemental Health, Telepsychiatry, or Telebehavioral Health. One of the reasons that telemedicine for mental health services is so popular in the United States is a shortage of qualified providers. Telemedicine makes it possible for fewer providers to serve more patients efficiently. It is ideal for medication management, or for checking-in between visits.