Virtual care refers to the various methods that allow medical professionals to provide care for their patients. Telemedicine is part of the virtual healthcare world. Besides live video, other ways to communicate with patients include phone calls and instant messages.
Virtual healthcare covers several aspects, including the consultation of patients after an in-person visit, monitoring vital signs after surgery, or communicating with patients to answer their questions.
In simple terms, the difference between virtual healthcare and telemedicine resides within the broadness of each concept.
This article will cover everything you need to know about virtual healthcare, including how it helps patients, physicians, and hospital organizations.
Is Virtual Healthcare Effective?
Virtual care for patients
Virtual healthcare offers similar benefits to telemedicine. Patients do not have to spend hours to get a face-to-face visit with their doctors when they can contact them remotely.
Patients will be able to receive the care they need from the comfort of their homes, lowering the rate of therapeutic compliance issues.
Furthermore, virtual healthcare helps patients in rural areas, where there aren’t enough doctors to meet the need. This is especially true for specialists.
According to the National Rural Health Association, the ratio of patients to primary care physicians is less than 40 doctors for every 100,000 people. In urban regions, this ratio reaches 53.5 physicians per 100,000 patients.
Virtual care for healthcare organizations
Healthcare organizations can benefit significantly from virtual healthcare. For instance, the implementation of this technology will substantially lower the incidence of no-shows. As a result, it can save a lot of money that would’ve otherwise been wasted.
Additionally, the long-term effect of virtual healthcare can lead to lower rates of hospital admissions and readmissions – a significant cost for medical facilities.
Experts also note that virtual care visits decrease the need for referrals by up to 50%. Differently put, patients will become less likely to require an on-site visit to a specialist since everything is provided first hand.
The combined benefits of virtual healthcare make this technology revolutionary.
How Virtual Care Benefits Medical Professionals
The primary benefit of virtual care for medical professionals is the convenience it provides. As you may know, on-site visits are often time-intensive and can be wasteful in some cases. By integrating virtual care visits into your practice, you will be able to address some minor health issues remotely (e.g., answering patients’ questions).
Over time, the increased efficiency in your office can facilitate the workload and reduce your stress – major risk factors of burnout.
Virtual care may also contribute to more excellent continuity and deeper relationships with patients since calling and messaging are a lot easier than on-site visits.
Another commonly underlooked advantage of virtual care is the possibility to consult other doctors in a matter of seconds to make critical decisions for patients (e.g., heart attacks, strokes).
Looking Ahead to the Future of Virtual Health care
Similar to other fields of science, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) will play a vital role in virtual health care and telemedicine.
The use of augmented intelligence will also allow for better patient care by making their information readily available for the physician and offering enhancement and suggestions in clinical decision-making.
Why Do Medical Practices Need a Virtual Care Strategy?
Implementing a virtual care strategy in your practice opens the door for new opportunities to provide appropriate management in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
This technology will allow you to connect with patients regularly, which brings in a lot of information. Developing a strategy is crucial to accommodate the massive amount of information you will receive and keep focusing on your day-to-day practice.
Medical practices that want long-term success and improved outcomes with virtual care need to develop a strategy that accounts for anything and everything.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Virtual healthcare benefits patients, doctors, as well as healthcare facilities. Virtual care hits all the essential points of success by offering convenience to patients, flexibility to doctors, and financial gains for healthcare organizations.
Virtual doctor visits can be beneficial in some instances. While this method does not replace a face-to-face visit with your doctor, it is still valid when dealing with mild health issues that do not require a physical examination.
Additionally, some patients want to visit the doctor to inquire about their health status, diagnosis, or treatment plan. In this situation, a virtual care visit would be just as beneficial as a face-to-face consultation. You will save a lot of time by doing it this way.
Virtual care is a broad term that encompasses all several methods, which allows healthcare professionals to provide care for their patients.
Virtual healthcare covers various aspects, including the consultation of patients after an in-person visit, monitoring vital signs after surgery, or communicating with patients to answer their questions.
Virtual healthcare works by remote contact between the doctor and their patients. The various technological devices allow for different forms of communication. However, the most common ones remain live video, phone calls, and instant messages.
These methods allow the doctor to communicate with their patients and provide the necessary care.
Virtual care has a more comprehensive spectrum that encompasses telemedicine. Telemedicine is only a part of the virtual healthcare world.
Virtual healthcare is the representation of the digital world in the field of medicine. The prompt integration of these methods will allow for better patient care and help healthcare providers offer various services.
We hope that this article managed to introduce the all-important topic of virtual healthcare. For any questions, feel free to contact us.