Providing Instant, Democratic Healthcare Access Through Virtual Consultation

Scheduling on-site appointments, commuting and diagnosis downtime are serious inhibitors to quality healthcare. The need to cut waiting times, minimize travel logistics, and improve quality medical consultations is essential to relieve the pressure on both the patient and the medical staff. If these obstacles are not addressed, the worst-case scenario might be closer than we think, with some patients having to forgo their treatments.

Traditional medical care models no longer cater adequately for patient needs today due to insufficient on-site facilities, frustratingly out of date IT resources, and the proverbial predicaments of unreliable public transportation. All of these factors lead to a high rate of missed appointments and non-attendance can put the patient at risk. A study by Lancaster University found that people with physical conditions who missed doctor’s appointments had an increased risk of death. Patients are not the only party negatively impacted by missed appointments. According to a study by SCI Solutions, missed appointments costs doctors $200 on average at a total cost to the U.S. healthcare industry of $150 billion every year.

Instant accessibility for all

This high “no-show” rate is greatly impacted by location. A survey of low-income patients in a suburb and rural community reported that patients who needed to ride the bus to their doctor’s office were twice as likely to miss appointments as patients who drove cars.

Virtual consultations can enable medical staff to seamlessly conduct a diagnosis without the need for patients actually being in the presence of the doctor. At the heart of a virtual clinic is secure video conferencing, instant messaging, and smart meeting room systems that simplify communications complexity for a life-changing experience. Providing virtual healthcare offers numerous benefits to rural communities by eliminating unnecessary repeat consultations, difficulties in on-site attendance, and delays in diagnosis and prescription orders. Advantages of using intuitive technology include reducing the patient’s travel to a hospital resulting in improved patient satisfaction, reduced carbon footprint, and maximized clinician time.

For example, offering a patient with mobility issues the option to receive a virtual consultation at their local GP rather than travelling many miles to a distant specialist is now possible with quality video conferencing, video calling, instant messaging, and all operated securely by cloud-based solutions that are easy to use.

In touch with technology

A major concern with virtual consultation is that the professionals can not directly diagnose a patient or use their equipment without the patient being physically present. This concern can be easily addressed by on-site meeting room systems equipped with all the technology they need.

The use of superior picture and sound quality enables doctors to provide high levels of service and share securely medical documentation, such as scans, files, and clinical information. When patient care requires urgent attention from specialists, video conferencing and instant messaging significantly help time-sensitive incidents – accessed anywhere and from any device. In addition, the virtual training classroom enables medical lecturers to widen their audience and communicate in real-time and extend the value of their service to any part of the world.

On-site meeting room systems set up in clinics, hospitals, and surgeries can also be installed for quality room video conferencing along with various audio and control options that seamlessly connect to other multiple facilities running a variety of different technologies – a compelling combination of flexibility, reliability, and security. With integrated easy-to-use solutions, doctors and physicians are better enabled to serve more patients in one day of clinical practice and improve levels of consultation satisfaction. A good example is fetal medical scanning, whereby conducting virtual antenatal appointments could save heavily pregnant women from travelling an exhaustive and unnecessary hundred mile or more round-trip.

Boosting health service capabilities improves the quality of lives and provides the opportunity to scale services and sustain patient relationships. According to the World Health Organization, nearly two billion people across the world are expected to be over 60 years old by 2050, a figure that is more than triple what it was in the year 2000. With growing communities and an increasingly ageing population, virtual clinics offer a future whereby advanced video adds value and enhanced on-premises prognosis offers more room for better patient care.

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