7 reasons why private healthcare facilities should invest in telemedicine
It's time for a revolution in the functioning of the healthcare system in Central and Eastern Europe that is going to be shaped by digitization, new technologies and telemedicine solutions. If healthcare facilities want to be competitive and to provide the highest level of service, they should adopt as quickly as possible to the changing market and new needs of patients. How can telemedicine help with that?
Telemedicine - what is it and why private medical institutions should invest in it?
Telemedicine is a novel way of providing medical services and health care via audio-visual transmission, without physical contact between the doctor and the patient. It enables remote diagnosis and carrying out some of the examinations and patient condition monitoring outside of a permanent facility. It is possible thanks to mobile medical devices fitted with specialist software, registering and transferring patient data. Thanks to telemedicine it is no longer necessary for doctors and patients to go from place to another, thanks to which the former can work from any place in the world and the latter, especially those with limited mobility, have easier access to medical services. What are the arguments for the healthcare facilities to introduce telemedicine solutions to their offer?
1. Optimization of costs
Technology enables gradual limitation of investments in costly infrastructure in favour of more efficient and less expensive telemedicine solutions. It also enables optimal management of both the medical equipment and personnel of a healthcare facility.
Thanks to remote consultations and examinations carried out online, a doctor is not obligated to provide their services in a permanent facility fitted with specific medical equipment. It is also to the benefit of patients. Without leaving home, they can receive expert advice from a doctor who can be at any place in the world as long as they have access to specialist software.
2. Time savings
Telemedicine solutions revolutionise also how hospitals are functioning. Thanks to remote diagnostics and monitoring:
- hospital beds are saved for the most needy and the duration of their hospitalisation is reduced to minimum,
- other patients do not have to wait in a long queue to be admitted to a hospital - as long as their health conditions allows it, they may remain under remote specialist care,
- a hospital can increase its efficiency by admitting more patients within a shorter time period.
3. Increase in treatment efficiency
Encompassing the patient with remote healthcare makes the treatment process more efficient and effective. In view of the ageing population, the number of patients requiring periodic examinations and medical consultations is going to increase. Many diseases (e.g. diabetes or atherosclerosis) require constant monitoring. The application of telemedicine solutions in such cases would enable constant observation of patient health condition and, through that, improvement in efficiency of treatment that they receive.
4. Adjustment to the expectations of patients
The latest research shows that the majority of patients in Europe are already willing to use telemedicine solutions, mainly such as: remote consultation, monitoring, diagnostics and rehabilitation.
In order to answer the new needs of patients accurately, private healthcare centres should already consider providing them with telemedicine services. If they fail do to that or introduce the new solutions too late, they have to consider the risk of losing competitiveness and, therefore, reduction in profitability.
5. Increased prestige of the facility
Investing in new technology, including innovative telemedicine solutions, may benefit the image of the facility as well. This technology changes the way we take advantage of services - with medical services included. Patients expect that they will be able to handle more and more matters online – starting with online booking of medical consultations and ending with remote diagnostics.
Thanks to adding innovative services to their offer, the healthcare facilities will answer quicker and better the needs of patients who choose modern forms of treatment. They are going to become more prestigious, thus encouraging more clients to take advantage of their services.
6. Increased competitiveness of smaller healthcare centres
Implementing telemedicine solutions is a development opportunity for smaller healthcare facilities. Thanks to these solutions, a facility can provide services that have previously been unavailable, for example due to lack of medical equipment or insufficient number of specialists in the local area.
Telemedicine helps with offer development particularly in case of facilities located in smaller towns by providing their inhabitants with specialist services.
7. Increased competence of doctors and medical personnel
Complex treatments and surgeries carried out by local doctors can be supervised remotely by specialists, also foreign ones. Such consultations will have a positive impact on the rate and quality of work of stationary specialists and enable exchanging knowledge between medical teams.
The demand for telemedicine solutions is tremendous and still growing, mainly because of the changing expectations of patients. The awareness of the necessity to care for one's own health and access to the Internet and new technologies become increasingly widespread and the matter of convenience of using medical services increases in significance as well. In order to maintain competitiveness, private healthcare facilities should adapt to those changes and remodel the way they provide services according to the needs of contemporary patients. This applies in particular to entities that provide primary health care, outpatient specialist care, diagnostics, rehabilitation and senior care services.
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