Everything has its advantages and disadvantages, as with telemedicine. As a new frontier in our healthcare system, telemedicine is the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients through the use of telecommunications technology. While this new approach of providing healthcare is playing such an important role in the future of healthcare for both patients and healthcare providers, some remain skeptical of the benefits it promises and if there will be any possible drawbacks upon using it.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TELEMEDICINE FOR DOCTORS?
Patients want a doctor that they are able to consistently consult with, and telemedicine enables your patients to do that with you. Take a look at these four benefits that doctors and specialists get to enjoy upon deciding to offer the telemedicine service to their patients:
We know how doctors are always on the lookout for ways to regularly treat people and with this advancement of telemedicine, it is made possible to treat patients outside of the hospital and clinics. You are now able to expand your reach beyond your office to offer services to many more patients. These virtual visits make it much easier for patients to reach out with questions and report early warning signs of a disease to you.
Additionally, according to RHB Research, the rising cost of healthcare in Singapore is increasingly diminishing the city’s attractiveness as a medical tourism hub with patients opting to turn to neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Thailand for their medical needs. With medical tourism becoming more competitive, besides offering a cost-effective way for existing patients to follow up with you, telemedicine also serves as an added convenience to patients out of Singapore. This way, telemedicine helps you to stay current in your field.
ATTEND TO MORE PATIENT’S NEEDS
Since there is a greater geographical reach to both patients and providers, telemedicine allows you to get in touch with patients that would have otherwise not been able to engage with you, simply because they are located too far away for face-to-face visits. For example, patients who are unable to get medical advice from their local doctors as they are suffering from a rare condition will be able to be able to gain better access to specialists for their specific medical need out of their region, giving them the opportunity to find you regardless of location.
According to the Predictive Analytics For Outpatient Appointments by Singapore Management University, in Singapore, patients can gain access to outpatient clinics through appointments. However, a survey in September 2012 found that 36 per cent of the absentees forgot their appointments, while another 27 per cent said they felt better and decided not to turn up. Though SMS reminders are being sent to remind patients of their appointments, one out of four patients still do not turn up for their appointments. Such absenteeism puts a strain on the clinics, which need to handle higher volume of patients every year. When something crops up at the last minute that cause in-person patients to cancel their appointments, they would not be missing out on your medical advice as they are able to schedule a follow-up appointment via telemedicine to make sure they are on track.
ADDITIONAL REVENUE FROM NEW PATIENTS
When you incorporate telemedicine into your practice, it will undoubtedly attract new patients and can additionally serve as an incentive for current patients to seek treatment from you more often. For HiDoc, your existing patients are able to sign up on the app for free and from there, they can select your profile to book a teleconsultation with you.
HOW TO BECOME A TELEMEDICINE PROVIDER?
Even though telemedicine will never be able to fully replace face-to-face services or hospital visits, it can definitely offer great benefits to healthcare providers like you. Closer to home, we also have our own telemedicine features such as HiDoc by the Singapore Medical Group Limited. If you are considering of incorporating telemedicine into your practice, do make sure that your office is in an enclosed environment with good internet connection and decent sound equipment. This ensures minimal technical issues when you are communicating with your patients.
From there, we will send you the registration form, fill-up the necessary details and send it back to us. Once we receive your application, we will setup your account on HiDoc and we will schedule a live demo with you and your staff to understand better how the HiDoc app works. To enjoy the benefits of telemedicine in your service, register your interest by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us directly at +65 6887 5000.