As technology upgrades and health concerns make telehealth services more and more popular, many health practitioners wonder whether video or in-person visits are the best way to treat patients. 

Video visits

Although there are certainly some cases in which an in-person visit is warranted, a video visit is a much more effective use of time and resources for many medical interactions. It is much safer, more accessible, and more convenient for both the doctor and the patient.

Easier for Patients With Reduced Mobility

Disabled, injured, or chronically ill patients with mobility challenges often find telehealth services preferable to in-office visits. This is because, for many, traveling to and from a medical office can represent a significant, time-consuming, and expensive challenge.

It can be difficult for those with mobility aids such as scooters and crutches to get in and out of the vehicle. Many people with reduced mobility can’t drive themselves, meaning they have to hire transportation or find a friend or family member who can set aside time to give them a ride.

Now, people who struggle with mobility don’t have to visit the office nearly as often with remote healthcare monitoring and video visits. Attending appointments becomes as simple as turning on their phone or computer.

Reduces Transmission of Disease

Telehealth has become particularly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, immunocompromised patients may benefit from video visits. Telehealth options allow them to limit their exposure to other sick people who might be near them at a physical office appointment. 

Remote patient monitoring tools can make patients and their practitioners feel safer and avoid passing along contagious pathogens.

Eliminates Travel and Makes Scheduling Easier

Patients with extensive or complicated work schedules may find it easier to set aside time for a virtual appointment. 

Many medical offices operate during the same hours as typical workplaces, so for in-office appointments, patients often have to use a sick day or other PTO (assuming they have those options), making them less likely to schedule necessary healthcare or attend follow-ups. 

Whether they work from home or the office, they may be able to attend a virtual appointment during their workday since they don’t have to take out the time to travel to and from the appointment. This saves not only transportation costs but also childcare expenses and any income that would be lost from missing work time.

Patients in rural areas may also have difficulty reaching physical offices for appointments. With telehealth devices, they can attend appointments and monitor conditions from their homes, providing access to physicians outside their typical travel radius. In fact, many researchers have concluded that telehealth services offer an exciting opportunity to offer attention, care, and education in areas that are less developed or isolated from more traditional care.

Telehealth Services Prevent Staff Burnout

In-person visits can represent stress for everyone involved. 

For the patient, in-person visits mean significant time spent driving and waiting in the office for minimal time with the doctor. On the provider’s end, in-office visits are typically rushed – often only 15 minutes are allotted for each appointment – and they have to move constantly from exam room to exam room, with hours of paperwork in between. Understandably, many doctors and clinical staff get burned out quickly.

telehealth staff burnout

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that over half of physicians experience burnout and leave the field. The same study concluded that reducing face-to-face visits was a significant part of solving that issue.

A 2003 study found that telehealth patients felt far more comfortable disclosing personal or intimate details about themselves via online meetings. Patients are also generally in a better mood during remote meetings, likely because they don’t have to dedicate much of their day to traveling to and from the appointment and waiting in the office. 

In this way, telehealth also makes physicians’ jobs easier since their patients are more communicative and less likely to withhold critical details.

Reduces No-Shows

With in-person office visits, several factors can lead to a no-show. Patients may forget about the appointment until it’s too late to make it on time. They may have car trouble, or their ride may cancel. They may not have childcare. They may not be able to miss work.

With remote health monitoring technology, many of those issues are resolved. Patients don’t need a car or a ride to get to the appointment, their children can sit in the next room, they may be able to attend the appointment from their home or office, and if they forget until the last minute, they can still log into the platform and make the appointment.

Other patients may have had bad past experiences in healthcare environments, making them hesitant to re-enter a medical office, even if the trauma wasn’t a physician’s fault. Virtual visits mean they can still see and talk to a practitioner without going into an office, making them more comfortable and more likely to keep the appointment.

Add Remote Patient Monitoring Technology to Your Practice

Telehealth services are the future of medical care. 

Although some in-office visits may still be necessary, many appointments can and should be handled virtually. CoachCare is a remote patient monitoring platform that offers medical providers a safe and convenient way to reach and monitor their patients virtually to improve healthcare for both the patient and the provider. 

Contact us to learn more about our remote healthcare monitoring systems.