Since Telemedicine seem to be the safest, most convenient, and globally accepted medical practice to address patients refusing hospital and clinical visit during this Covid-19 scare, there will inevitably be doubts and perceptions of disadvantages that need to be addressed.
Before Covid-19, Telemedicine was projected to grow at 18.4% annually at around $17 billion as an industry in the US alone. Innovations to resolve doubts and hurdles of the practice must be taken into action in order to assure the public. Below are some of the immediate questions related to the practice.
A. Are Telemedicine Physicians and Allied Staff Technology Ready?
Getting the physicians and field staff trained expertly is the first issue to be addressed. Keeping in mind that although Telemedicine is already in practice with about half of the healthcare institutions in the whole of the US, there are sure types of illnesses that need to be diagnosed with the help of clinical equipment. Moreover, the vast physical file records of patients archived in their hospital or clinic of choice, how will they be accessed if another provider takes over?
B. Will patient care continuity be compromised?
Patients with conditions that rapidly progress like cataracts or skin diseases that need biopsy scan will worry about continuity of care if they consult a random (or on-demand) healthcare provider. What will happen then to the patient’s care routines if record/history and notes?
Now, if we will consider the number of types illnesses becoming un-addressed since the pandemic, is Telemedicine really ready to take the blow of demand?
C. How will my current medical insurance cover Telemedicine reimbursements?
Policies in reimbursement will be quite a trick. Inevitably, the need for Telemedicine will eventually take over quickly while existing medical insurance of patients was not originally designed to reimburse for Telemedicine service.
For more information on Telemedicine as a primer, please see NCBI