Tag Archives: physician

Everyday Uses Of Telemedicine


When you think of telemedicine what do you think of? You may conjure images of high-tech hospital machines transmitting information from one healthcare setting to the next, or maybe you picture a telehealth e-consultation? Well, telemedicine is more accessible and extends farther into your daily life than you may think.

Personal Medical Inquiries

If you’ve ever called (or emailed) your doctor to inquire about blood test results, or spoke to a specialist on the phone who is hours away, you have used telemedicine on those occasions. Have you ever called your pharmacist to ask questions about a prescription? Yep, you guessed it! Telemedicine.

Computer Telemedicine Support

People use telemedicine online daily, sometimes without even realizing that is what they are doing. Some examples of day-to-day computer activities that fall under the umbrella of telehealth are:

  • Online support groups – have you ever contacted an online mental health or physical health support group? There are thousands of groups out there that aim to help people communally manage such conditions such arthritis or obsessive compulsive disorder.
  • Symptom checker – most of us have, at one point or another, checked a couple maladies on a symptom checker or typed symptoms into the search engine out of curiosity. While this isn’t a good substitute for a doctor’s advice, it can give people some helpful information on conditions as long as they access credible sources.
  • Health forums – many people participate in online health forums to inquire or learn about certain health-related abnormalities or concerns, once again this should not be substituted for medical advice but it is still a form of telehealth and may give you some good suggestions about what to ask your doctor.

Doctor-to-Doctor Communication

Another common form of telemedicine is advice, second opinions or general medicine-related communication between doctors from hospital to hospital, or from a facility to a hospital via phone or email. Similarly, if your doctor calls your specialist to gather information about your latest appointment or calls the pharmacy directly to give instructions on one of your medicines, telemedicine was happening all over that office.

Smartphone Telemedicine

Possibly the most widespread and frequent use of telemedicine in daily life is done on smartphones. People access millions of health and wellness apps daily such as weight loss and calorie counter, exercise, and health input apps daily. You can use phones to make health inquiries, call doctors offices to schedule appointments or track things like blood sugar levels and heartrates. You can also use your smartphone to access DocChat’s revolutionary app which will connect you with a highly qualified DocChat physician within minutes for a telemedicine appointment.



What is Telemedicine and What Telemedicine Services Delivery Mechanisms Currently Exist


What is Telemedicine?

Formerly defined as the exchange of medical data from one site to another through electronic means to help improve the health condition of patients, the definition of telemedicine now takes on the use of technologies and applications like video conferencing, email, smart phones and other similar tools.

Telemedicine started out about 4 decades ago when some hospitals outspread healthcare services to patients living in isolated regions. Since then, telemedicine has been adopted by an increasing number of healthcare providers. Today, it is going mainstream as hospitals and clinics are making it a core part of their ongoing operations.

It is important to understand that telemedicine is not a separate form of healthcare, but enhancement of healthcare services through the use of technologies. To integrate telemedicine into their services, healthcare service providers make huge investments in information technology and infrastructure development. Moreover, when it comes to the reimbursement of fees, authorities make no separation between on-site service provision and services provided via telemedicine at remote sites.

Even though telehealth is interchangeably used to refer to telemedicine, but sometimes it is defined as a broader remote healthcare service that does not necessarily involve clinical procedures. However, there is no difference in ATA’s definition for telehealth and telemedicine. There is another term called “health information technology,” which refers to the electronic recording of medical data while telemedicine refers to the provision of real clinical services via technology.

Telemedicine Delivery Mechanism

Telemedicine can be provided via a variety of mechanisms, including the following:

● Networked delivery mechanism: This mechanism connects tertiary healthcare providers with remote clinics and health centers in outlying regions. The mechanism makes use of high-speed connectivity lines or the Internet to create linkages between different sites. According to ATA, the number of telemedicine networks in the US stands at 200 while 3,000 sites have been linked under the networks.

● Point to point linkages: This mechanism uses private, high-speed point-to-point linkages to provide healthcare services directly to the patients or subcontract special services to autonomous healthcare providers. Subcontracted services comprise radiology services, stroke evaluation, cognitive health care and similar services.

● Monitoring center networks: This mechanism is used to provide healthcare services to patients in their homes. It extends healthcare services like cardiac, pulmonary and fetal examining to patients at their homes. Normally, landline or wireless Internet connectivity is employed for communication between the patients and the monitoring centers.

● Internet-based services: This mechanism is used to deliver direct healthcare services to patients over the World Wide Web.

To sum it up, telemedicine has revolutionized the healthcare sector. The advent of advanced technologies has supported telemedicine and the growth of telemedicine is expected to grow even at a higher speed in the years ahead.

We use the latest technology to reach to our patients and provide them the best services thanks to a team of experts. For more details, get in touch with us today.

Why Telemedicine Experts Should be on Social Media

social media engagement

Social media has been pivotal in the evolution of all sorts of business and organization strategies. Following the hype generated by social channels such as Facebook and Twitter, many businesses and companies have established a social media presence in order to benefit their business.

Social media is indeed a tremendous tool, which is no longer limited to marketing purposes. In fact, seeing the popularity of telemedicine, it is time that experts from the industry make their presence known on social media platforms.

Here are some reasons as to why it is time that telemedicine experts establish their presence and start connecting with patients on social media platforms.

Widens the Potential Patient Base

Most of the people today are avid social media users. They have an account on at least one social media platform. Around 41% of users make use of their social media accounts in order to reach a health care provider. Thus, it is only logical that telemedicine experts utilize this opportunity and connect with patients by giving them advice and treating their illness through social media.
Not only does social media broaden the potential patient base, it also allows you to track and have follow-up appointments with your existing patients.

Empowers Patients to Take Control of their Health

Many patients suffer through chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and various others. They find it difficult to keep up with the frequent visits to the doctors. While their condition does warrant frequent visits to doctors, social media can lessen their burden considerably by allowing them to seek advice regarding minor issues from their doctors over social media channels. This can be done by describing their symptoms to the physician or participating in an educational program with a step-by-step guide on how to manage their disease.

Saves Both, the Doctors’ and Patients’ Valuable Time

The schedules of the doctors and physicians is extremely compact. Especially, with the increasing trend towards having health insurance, doctors are becoming busier than ever. Presence of telemedicine on online social platforms allows doctors to treat patients with minor health issues on social media, rather than making them come to the hospital for a visit. This means that doctors’ and other medical staff’s valuable time is saved for other pressing matters.
Even the patients’ time is saved as they do not need to take time off from work in order to wait in the hospital waiting room to get something as minor as a stomachache treated. Thus, social media is not only effective, but also a convenient tool for telemedicine for both, the patients and the doctors.

The best is to link social media to your website or services with the help of apps or tabs. This will make it easier for your customers or potential customers to find you.

Why Orthopedic Surgeons Are Accepting Telemedicine

Medical doctor pointing at radiograph x-ray image

The implementation of telemedicine has become quite popular in recent years. Not only is it transforming the medical arena, but also it is seen to aid in medical training and learning. Thus, it is not surprising that more and more orthopedic surgeons are becoming not only accepting, but also welcoming of telemedicine.

Following are the reasons as to why telemedicine is so appealing for orthopedic surgeons.

·Allows Convenience and Satisfaction for Patients

Since it a simple video technology which allows for a live interaction between the patient and the surgeon to have access to each other, anywhere and anytime, it is really convenient for the patients. Rather than taking time off from work and making a visit all the way to the hospital for their post ops, patients can simply have access to their surgeons through telemedicine in exchange of a small fee. Not only does telemedicine save patients excess trouble of making an appointment with their surgeon but also saves their valuable time.

Also, it provides increased patient satisfaction as they no longer have to wait and endure a hurried advice of the doctor. Rather, because of telemedicine they now have the doctor’s undivided attention.

·Convenient for the Orthopedic Surgeons

Surgeons and their assistants are already overburdened with the paperwork and other administrative tasks. Telemedicine tends to reduce their burden significantly as physicians are able to tend to the patients and prescribe them appropriate medication by conversing with them and seeing their wounds through a live video feed, without having to fill in the paperwork for their patients as per hospital policy. The time saved then can be invested in other pressing matters.

·Increased Revenue for Orthopedic Surgeons

In general, surgeons get paid according to the time they spend in OR. After hours call or visits from patients are not documented and registered by the hospitals. Nor are post-op examinations compensated which require a lot of time and care by the physician. Telemedicine allows the surgeons to give medical advice to their patients and cover the post-op through a live video in exchange of a small fee. Thus, telemedicine reimburses the physicians and is looked at as a suitable option by many.

Moreover, practicing telemedicine also allows surgeons to make more revenue. This is because, since patients find it convenient to have a virtual treatment rather than pay a visit, they are more likely to reach out to their physician even if they are suffering through a mild ankle sprain. Thus, charging a low fee for virtual treatments allows surgeons to make additional revenue.

Negotiation Tips for Physicians


A value-driven healthcare system ensures that the doctors are adequately compensated for their services. The relative financial risks to physicians must be minimized if the payment model being utilized is to succeed. Most physicians either don’t know that the amounts reimbursed by your insurance plans can be negotiated or simply do not wish to engage in the negotiation battle and lengthy meetings that are implied. Negotiating is easier if the right approach is followed and will give the practice both short-term and long-term benefits.

Physicians and the Art of Negotiation

Negotiating a contract with a health plan is a complex, time-consuming, and frustrating task. Family physicians find themselves getting the short end of the stick. The contract being offered by default has been prepared by an army of financial, legal and administrative experts who will want to pay the lowest rates they can. Negotiating can be tricky and requires delving into piles of research. Physicians might not be natural negotiators; however the advantage here is that almost all physicians are experts at detailed analyses and research.
· Be patient and tenacious
· Be willing to walk away from unsatisfactory offers
· Accept the fact that there will be a lot of back-and-forth
· Build your business case
· Communicate it clearly

The Basic Process of Negotiating Health Care Plans

The first aspect that a physician needs to determine is what factors will improve their leverage during the negotiation. Having a clear idea of what you bring to the table can make the difference between having to settle for a low rate and getting the rate that you deserve.
Gesme and Wiseman offers the following general advice to increase reimbursement from private payers:
Self-Assessment and Preparation- SWOT and KPIs
The key to successful negotiation strategy is readiness. Do a thorough SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis of the practice. Look at all the factors objectively and critically. Check all your past data, measure the major key performance indicators (KPI’s) related to costs, quality and time. General practices normally have five areas that the KPIs are based on:
1) Financial performance
2) Patients
3) Employees
4) Medical data and patient services
5) Expenses
Comparative data is also required so check your position in quality assessment programs such as Physician Quality Reporting Initiative.

Monitor Your Present Contracts

Contracts are automatically renewed unless one party proposes a modification. Analyze your contract and decide exactly which changes you need. You should also know what percentage of your business is represented by the payer.

Good Negotiation Tactics-A Summary

● Present your requests for changes
● Ensure that the data you present is relevant, well-organized and clear.
● Listen to the other side and understand their goals
● Offer proof for any cost-minimizing measures you have implemented


How to Improve Your Patient’s Telemedicine Experience

Telemedicine can provide superior one-on-one care to patients. It can serve as an excellent option when it comes to continuity of care and transfer of knowledge to patients. Telemedicine cannot replace in-person consultations; however, recent technological advances and their integration into telemedicine has helped enhance patient experience.

Keep these strategies in mind to provide a better telemedicine experience to your patients.

Read Up on All the Patient History

The hospital will have all patient files on record. The health practitioner can save a lot of time and energy by ensuring that he/she is well caught up with the patient’s issues. The patients will feel better looked-after if they are certain that the doctor has taken the time to review and understand their concerns. A quick review will help you be more prepared for the visit and will help make the appointment more efficient.

Ensure Equipment is in Proper Working Order

The equipment that facilitates telemedicine systems must be properly installed and maintained. All the hardware components must work and any replacements must be made within time. Proper quality control of the equipment is necessary. More sophisticated systems will need staff and maintenance to be properly trained before they can use it in an actual consultation scenario.

Conduct Training Drills with Remote and In-House Staff

Telemedicine relies mainly upon the hospital staff having the proper training to work the devices and tools involved. It also means that people have to collaborate with new staff that is present in remote locations.

Having proper communication protocols is imperative to successful treatment of patients. Implementation of these protocols must be practiced. Also a well-trained health care staff can serve as a well-oiled machine that brings the telemedicine experience to a level that is as good as real life experiences.

Hospital issues are time-sensitive and training programs will help identify mistakes so they can be addressed.

Communicate Properly and Use Clinical Guidelines

Use the same clinical guidelines for telemedicine appointments as you would in an in-person visit. Take a thorough history and ask all the necessary questions. Nod along to indicate that you are listening and maintain eye contact. Clearly explain the steps required when interacting with the virtual system. Always ensure that you ask the patient for their feedback and opinions concerning the virtual visit and the hospital’s telemedicine services.

Reminder to Schedule your appointment on a clock setting on a calendar.

Why is Patient Engagement Important for Doctors?

Patient engagement is a broad term used to define patient involvement, their level of health-related knowledge, and the quality of doctor-patient communication. Even the tools used to facilitate doctor-patient communication such as online health portals and social media are often included in this definition.

Patient engagement implies that doctors adopt a patient-focused approach in their medical practices and research. From the point of view of patients, it requires that they take their doctor’s advice to heart and take a health-first approach.

The Most Important Benefits of Better Patient Engagement

1. Easier and Quicker Communication

Patient engagement involves improving communication channels; this makes it easier for doctors and patients to interact. Modern tools and technology can help achieve this goal in very cost-effective ways.

The use of social media as a patient information portal is effective and easy to set up. These methods scale up efficiently and their use should be integrated into the health care system.

2. Increased Patient Loyalty

Patients who are more engaged with their health-care provider remain more loyal and take their health issues more seriously. They will remain loyal to the practice and the doctor.

3. Efficient and Transparent Workflows

Hospitals handle a lot of paperwork; various forms have to be filled out at all stages due to various laws requiring accurate documentation. The use of online portals can lessen some of this burden – patients can pre-fill forms and help shorten the visit duration.

Online systems make it possible to pinpoint issues in workflows; solving these issues will lessen costs.

4. Dissemination of Accurate Health Information

Doctors can help the patient remain better informed by encouraging them to keep and provide timely, accurate and clear information about health issues. Better patient engagement leads to better informed communities.

5. Encourages Better Research

Increased patient involvement will result in a more honest, detailed feedback; this will help make health care data more accurate over time, thereby helping determine future research efforts. The research also becomes more valuable because it has kept patient collaboration and inclusiveness at its core.

6. Increased ROI

Healthcare facilities will have less need of spending money on ads and other promotional activities. Patients will be loyal and keep coming back to the facility because they feel more empowered.
Recent Developments- The Benefits of Moving Towards a Patient-Centric Approach
The USFDA (Food and Drug Administration) realized the importance of having highly engaged patients and recently announced a formation of a Patient Engagement Advisory Committee.
This is a major move that will help improve, modernize, and personalize healthcare. The purpose of the committee is to increase patient involvement at all levels of health care provision, even in issues such as device development and assessment.

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How Telemedicine Can Reduce The Shortage Of Physicians

Those who are in the know about the healthcare industry have been hearing for some time about the shortage of physicians in the country, and the challenges that will present for an aging population. One recent article by the Annals of Family Medicine predicted that by the year 2525, America will be short up to 52,000 physicians. With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, this can only make the problem worse.

There is a solution right here, right now. Telemedicine can help alleviate the shortage of doctors in a number of ways.

Telemedicine can provide access to specialists for rural hospitals

Hospitals in remote parts of the country have felt the brunt of the shortage of physicians more than anyone. It is very, very difficult for them to recruit, train, and retain physicians when higher paying jobs in urban areas are recruiting them. With these limitations, it is not unusual for a rural hospital to encounter patients who have conditions they have not seen before. If these smaller rural hospitals can be connected via telemedicine networks to larger medical centers, the quality of care for patients there is improved, without an increase on the staff.

Make the pool of available physicians wider and more available

The reach of telemedicine is not limited to this country, it can, and has spread the world over. Special fields such as pathology and radiology can be amendable to internal telemedicine. Hospitals can be greatly empowered by connecting their patients with physicians from around the world to give them access to doctors with skills they otherwise would not be able to provide, or to provide at a reasonable cost. This has the effect of increasing the number of available physicians in the country, helping to alleviate the shortage problems.

Increase the utilization of available physicians

Today more than ever, the time of a physicians is valued. Yet they still have to deal with canceled appointments, and this leaves them with no patients to see and extra time on their hands for which they are not compensated. This also cheats patients who desperately need to see a doctor and cannot get an appointment. Telemedicine is ideal for helping doctors make good use of this down time.

When doctors can make the most out of their time, the shortages are not nearly as much of a problem. These are just a few of the many ways telemedicine can be used to relieve what is inevitable, a shortage of doctors for a population that is growing older, and not just in the United States.