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How Telemedicine is changing the Surgical Practice Landscape

by Salahuddin Ahmed
Telemedicine has gained significant importance because of the coronavirus pandemic. Before COVID-19 hit, most surgeons were not considering remote visits an option due to the concerns about HIPAA compliance and poor reimbursement. As soon as the pandemic came into the picture, hospitals and health systems were asked to postpone all non-essential surgical procedures by the U.S. surgeon general and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It made the situation extremely difficult for surgeons.

However, the federal government eased HIPAA restrictions and increased funding and reimbursement for telemedicine in March 2020. This opened up an interesting opportunity for the surgeons. Additionally, Congress gave 200 million dollars to fund telemedicine under the first package of the coronavirus aid bill. It gave the much-needed push to the healthcare sector and made everyone realize the importance of including telemedicine in healthcare.

How Are Telemedicine Services Being Used?

Telemedicine services are connecting the patients and the providers through secure live video and audio connections or communication platforms that use asynchronous video telecommunication. Experts in the industry are making sure that these platforms are offering HIPAA compliant and HL-7 certified communication similar to the clinic-based or hospital practice.

This advancement in technology has enabled and enhanced physician-to-patient communication. It has opened up an entirely new and novel way of dealing with health and wellness. Due to telemedicine services, patients can easily communicate with their healthcare provider remotely using a computer, tablet, or mobile phone. The concept of virtual home care is not only more convenient for the patients but it is also cost-effective for them and their healthcare providers.

Benefits of Telemedicine Services

  • Creates a direct link between the patients and their healthcare providers
  • Provides access to sub-specialists irrespective of the geographic location
  • Saves money and time by eliminating travel costs and time off work
  • Provides 24/7 virtual access for cases patients require constant care
  • Allows more time for providers to remotely check on post-operative patients and organize routine rechecks
  • Increases patient satisfaction by early identification of problems and their treatment

How Telemedicine Services Are Helping Surgical Practices?

Telemedicine Services have increased the scope of surgical practices by accessing distant patient populations and helping in routine postoperative care. Although the surgical providers are still new to this technology, they do realize how it can provide their patients with easier access to healthcare, greater flexibility and better telemedicine options including sub-specialty care. These services are not only helping the diagnosis of patients but they are also being utilized in the postoperative setting to triage acute issues and easily organize routine postoperative appointments.

A healthcare provider can evaluate patients experiencing acute issues requiring urgent attention through a telemedicine appointment. It eliminated the need for visits to outpatient clinics or emergency departments. If the patient does require in-person care, they can be directed to a clinic or appropriate emergency services.

Technological advancements have completely changed the healthcare industry. Hospitals and other medical facilities are relying on medical suppliers like SurgicalSupplies.US for delivering surgical supplies at their doorstep. So, healthcare providers too can embrace these new virtual care technologies and cater to the patients at their doorsteps.