Telemedicine: The Positive & Negative Impacts

HBI Blog / Telemedicine: The Positive & Negative Impacts

The COVID-19 pandemic has made virtual care a normal thing in the healthcare industry. In 2019, around half of the outpatient hospitals offered telehealth services, whereas only one-third of the inpatient hospitals offered virtual care. However, the numbers have exploded in 2020. More than 41 million telehealth claims were filed between April and July 2020, which marks over a 4000 percent increase over the last year.

Telemedicine The Positive and Negative Impacts

Here are the impacts, both positive and negative, of telemedicine:

POSITIVES (Telemedicine)

  • Improved rural care

With an acute shortage in the number of providers, it is hard to find healthcare providers who are willing to move to rural hospitals. It is even harder to find specialists who can provide more targeted care. Rural hospitals, at times, are the only accessible care facilities in the areas they serve. However, several rural hospitals are closing with time, mostly due to a lack of resources. Such conditions leave patients with no access to medical care.

Telehealth can be a savior in such conditions. The online platform can not only take healthcare to rural areas but also can deal with the shortage of physicians temporarily. With the help of virtual care, people residing in rural areas can get access to basic healthcare as well as specialist care.

  • More patient satisfaction

With virtual care, the satisfaction level of patients is greater than ever. Telemedicine technologies help a patient avoid long waits. With prompt check-in via the online platform, a patient can get faster opinions on health concerns. Moreover, the overall cost is low too. According to a study, a telehealth visit costs around $76 less on average than an in-person visit.

NEGATIVES (Telemedicine)

  • Cybersecurity & fraud

Privacy and security are a matter of concern to the telehealth systems. It not only impacts the trust between patient and provider but also decreases the willingness of people to get used to this new system. In 2019, more than 14 million patient records were breached, and more than 580 hospitals and IDNs have reported IT security breaches over the past two years.

  • Compliance & legal issues

Providers should give the compliance and legal issues some thoughts before completely moving into the telehealth system. Licensure, prescribing restrictions, and insurance coverage are some of the things that need more thought to make the system efficient and flawless.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.