Telemedicine

4 Novel Uses for Telemedicine in Specialty Areas

The Pulse of Telehealth - Weekly posts discussing the benefits of telehealth for medical providers.

Telemedicine is most widely used for urgent care-type medical ailments, as well as for remotely monitoring chronic conditions. However, with its continued success, more specialties are beginning to implement different versions of telemedicine to serve their patient populations. Here’s a look at four new uses:

1. Surgery

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Telemedicine has the potential to play a huge role in pre- and post-op settings. Surgical staff can deliver instructions to patients before their surgery; this minimizes any miscommunication that may have occurred with prior relaying of orders. Telemedicine also reduces the number of patient no-shows, saving costs and the valuable time of medical staff. Similarly, post-op patients can benefit from telemedicine by receiving education and continuous monitoring after their procedure, thereby reducing hospital readmissions.

2. Gastroenterology

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A routine colonoscopy may not be as routine for patients as it is for a gastroenterologist. Much like using telemedicine for pre-op check in before a surgery, patients can receive instructions and reassurance before their appointment. After the procedure, providers can deliver clinical content or lifestyle guidance information to patients via telemedicine.

3. Psychiatry

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Due to the sensitive nature of psychiatric patient visits, telemedicine is often more effective than in-person care. Outpatient counseling is becoming an effective way to comfort and treat patients, without the patients feeling “institutionalized.” For psychiatrists, transmission of electronic notes to other team members enhances collaboration and continuity of care for each patient.

4. Geriatrics

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With increased age comes decreased mobility. Telemedicine presents a safe, convenient way for the elderly to seek medical care. Medical providers can use devices that monitor the patients from the comfort of their home, ultimately reducing unnecessary spending with hospital readmissions. Overall, telemedicine removes previous barriers to care and assists the elderly in managing their healthcare needs.

This list is merely a snapshot of how medical specialties are working to eliminate costs and improve accessibility to healthcare. Using telemedicine to accomplish these goals can benefit almost every realm of the healthcare system.

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