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Telemedicine – A Virtual World’s Answer to Resource Shortages

Written by Courteney

Posted on May 29, 2016 at 4:14 pm


The American medical system is witnessing plenty a shortfall in our modern world, with population increases, droves of doctors retiring, lack of funding and resources, one may wonder how this mess can be fixed…

Isn’t There A Primary Care Shortage?

There is an undebatable shortage of American primary care physicians in 2016, and the situation it is expected to only to worsen. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMA) predicts that by the year 2025, the United States will see a deficit of over 130,000 primary care doctors. This is startling. One third of American doctors are nearing retirement and there aren’t enough following to fill these shoes.

Where Is Care For Suffering Veterans?

After all the sacrificing American veterans have punched for our country, many have been left on the sidelines when it comes to receiving adequate care. The majority of veterans are dealing with permanent disabilities and illnesses as results of battle injuries but unfortunately, 3.2 million of these veterans are dispersed across rural areas that are virtually inaccessible to quality care.

Why Are Nursing Homes Being Penalized?

Because many older nursing home patients require an abundance of care to maintain chronic conditions and age-related illnesses, hospitalization and readmission rates are alarmingly high. So much so that the CMS began penalizing both hospitals and nursing homes alike 2-3% for each inpatient readmission. Most nursing homes just don’t have adequate medical coverage for the demand of their patients, often only staffing one medical director who can’t possibly work 24/7.

Aren’t Emergency Departments Overburdened?

Yes. Of course they are! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American ER departments receive a whopping 136,300,000 visits annually, with approximately 16,200,000 resulting in inpatient admission. Among the remaining 120,100,000 cases, it is safe to say a fair portion could potentially have been handled at a clinic or primary care office. Furthermore, keep in mind that up to 78% of healthcare complaints can be handled via telemedicine. When ER doctors are overburdened with so many non-critical cases, they are often exhausted by the time a critical case is rolled in on a gurney, leading to mistakes more easily happening.

What About Under Resourced Rural Hospitals?

Many rural communities don’t have access to specialists such as neurologists, so what options do stroke patients or those with other serious conditions in need of continuing care have? Traveling to the nearest city for care is not only expensive, but taxing on someone with health limitations. Not only are specialists lacking in rural areas, but so are primary care physicians. Most of the aforementioned deficits are in rural areas. So what are rural patients to do?

Never Fear – Telemedicine is Here!

Aside from providing accessible, affordable care to anyone regardless of geographic location, in 2016 telemedicine is stepping up to the plate as the much needed answer to all of these dire questions. In our fast-paced digitally evolving world, we would be foolish to dismiss technology as the answer to our increasing problems. Speaking on a more specific level for a minute, DocChat alone has seen immense success working with patients on chronic condition management as well as collaborating with New York City nursing homes, just to name a couple area of prowess. For more information about how telemedicine can adequately combat all these issues visit DocChat today.

 

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* Disclaimer: DocChat is intended as a complementary service to your primary care physician. It is intended for use by those seeking acute health care in non-emergency situations. DocChat does not prescribe DEA-controlled substances, narcotics, or drugs that may potentially be abused. DocChat is not a replacement for your primary care doctor and will only provide short-term prescriptions if medically necessary. If you have an emergency, call 911. If you have a chronic illness, please see your primary care physician. DocChat does not guarantee that our doctors will prescribe medication. DocChat reserves the right to refuse service to any patients it deems to be abusing the intended service or seeking prescriptions beyond a reasonable amount.