Do Telemedicine Benefits Outweigh the Costs?
Topic: Do Telemedicine Benefits Outweigh the Costs?
When it comes to reaping telemedicine benefits, things can get complex:
Cost can vary widely, depending on things like feature integration and deployment.
Functionality can range in usefulness, depending on the type of practice.
Value to patients changes according to patient demographics.
Despite such ambiguities, one thing is certain: implementing the right telemedicine services at the right time is imperative for your small practice to stay competitive.
According to research by Gartner (report available to Gartner clients) 2018 is going to be a big year for telemedicine. In fact, their annual CIO survey revealed that it was the second-highest priority for spending in 2018.
To provide some valuable insight into the benefits of telemedicine for small practices, we spoke with three medical providers about their experience with telemedicine.
Dr. Mayer Uses Telemedicine to Serve More Patients
Dr. John Mayer is licensed in six states as an associate staff psychologist through Doctor on Demand, and has been a provider with this telemedical service for three years. He primarily uses video conferencing to accommodate patients who live outside driving distance from his office—both nationally and internationally.
“I’ve always had a commitment to reaching people to whom mental health services are difficult to come by … and telemedicine is a perfect vehicle for this. It is community mental health at its finest.”
When asked what prompted him to begin offering telemedical conferencing to his patients, he pointed to the ability to expand his reach to so many patients who otherwise wouldn’t be able to meet with a psychologist. To Dr. Mayer, telemedicine and mental health care are a perfect marriage.
For the patient, he listed the following telemedicine benefits:
- Ease in establishing rapport
- Lowered resistance to treatment
And for the mental health care providers like himself, the advantages he’s seen firsthand include:
- Ability to focus more on treatment
- Reduced paperwork and scheduling demands
- Customer service for addressing technical issues
Topic Discussed: Do Telemedicine Benefits Outweigh the Costs?
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