The healthcare system is a cornerstone of our society. It’s a critical injury that handles the most sensitive data and patients when they are most vulnerable. There is no surprise that people are very cautious when it comes to any changes in their healthcare.
People don’t like change, but advancing strategies is something that benefits all parties. Learning more about telemedicine and helps offer a sense of transparency to get patients on board with innovation.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is not a new concept, dating back to the dawn of the radio and telephones. The term refers to a concept of offering medical advice remotely, with a patient not sitting in the same location as the medical officer. Despite the fact it existed, telemedicine was not popular.
Considering how far technology advanced since the dawn of telecommunications, you would think everything would be available over the phone. The technology itself was not the problem. In fact, households have more smartphones than ever. Nearly all households have access to real-time video streaming services and an internet connection. Essentially, the same tech used to make Instagram stories or TikTok posts works with telemedicine services.
The bigger problem at hand was the infrastructure. Healthcare systems handle sensitive information that clients don’t want to get out. From your pain clinics to local chiropractors, every clinical facility has a legal obligation to follow certain regulations.
Like with every new advancement, some people resisted healthcare facilities “going digital.” Understanding their hesitation is key to learn how to address their concerns.
Many fail to realize that most health organizations switched to some sort of digital system. Like the library and DMV uses computers to help organize their files, healthcare systems also try to stay on top of their management.
Digital systems are more reliable than traditional paper filing systems. Think of all the risks that come with trying to protect a paper document under lock and key. If someone misplaces or steals a copy, it’s gone forever. Not to mention, natural disasters and fires could destroy an entire medical history in seconds. Imagine someone’s entire lawsuit literally going up in flames when their full file catches fire one day.
Not only that, but files that don’t use encryption software. In other words, you can read them without any additional help.
Online systems prevent most of these problems – or at least significantly reduce the chance of them happening. Programs code data so uninvited users can’t easily read information. If tragedy strikes, a broken computer or flooded hard drive doesn’t destroy a file. Files stored in cloud systems are ready for the right person to access them at any time – from anywhere with the proper permission.
Of course, these changes are not something patients would recognize so easily. It’s easy for these behaviors to go unnoticed. More apparent telemedicine features, like remote consultations, are the more drastic changes.
Imagine if you didn’t have to drive all the way to your doctor every time you encountered a bout of chronic pain. What if getting that ten-minute doctor appointment and treatment recommendations was as easy as facetiming your friends? Well, it can be!
Researchers found that this convenient approach to healthcare is effective. It saves a lot of time and hassle for both the patients and the physicians. Although the pandemic forced these platforms to blow up, many ask why they weren’t there before.
Why the Resistance?
It’s not that people are anti-technology. The bigger problem is that many people are afraid of what they don’t understand. For many Americans, technology is still pretty new. Unless they are in a tech-related field, many older generations don’t know technology beyond their social media accounts.
All some people hear about technology is how it’s taking away jobs or instigating some kind of robot uprising. Although many of us understand this isn’t the case, it’s easy to see how technology is scary to someone less tech–savvy.
Instead of brushing their concerns aside or talking down them to them, it’s more effective to address their concerns adequately. Many common worries have simple solutions that are easy to understand when one takes the time to explain them.
Explaining your platforms on a basic level is essential for patients. They want transparency so they do not need to feel like they need to worry about the security of their doctor’s visits.
The Future of Healthcare
A desire to hold onto tradition prevented healthcare from making significant leaps in telemedicine for a while. 2020 forced our society to see the weaknesses in the traditional healthcare system.
COVID-19 created an urgency for telemedicine to bloom. The pandemic environment forced the healthcare system to compensate for strained facilities and a need for social distancing. Telemedicine offered an ideal solution that everyone benefits from. It was during this tragedy that telemedicine demonstrated its widespread success.
Even when restrictions calm down, it’s unlikely telemedicine will die with it. Experts believe the demonstrated convenience and efficiency of telemedicine in 2020 indicates it is here to stay. Telemedicine systems will likely advance as their popularity rises to compensate for a surge in users. There is a lot to look forward to in the telemedicine industry in 2021.
Thank you for listening to this episode of RMG Talks. Catch a new episode every first Thursday of the month at 4 PM EST. RMG Talks is a new podcast series brought to you by Regional Medical Group, as a way to connect with our audience at home during these uncertain times. RMG Talks is a personal injury medical and law informational podcast channel that offers next-level entertainment and business news to its listeners. Hosted by our RMG team, we are now streaming on all major listening platforms. Start listening, https://rmgtalks.com/. =
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