While change can be overwhelming to some, it can also be a helpful motivator for all. However, if you have decided to implement telemedicine for you and your patients, you may experience some pushback. Patients may even express concerns about the validity of the service.
According to a 2013 study carried out by Cisco, 74% of consumers are open to virtual doctor visits. While this is certainly a promising statistic, there is still no harm in reassuring new and existing patients that telemedicine is here to make their lives even easier and not more challenging. We’ve outlined three top worries or concerns patients may have when it comes to telemedicine platforms and how you can best address them.
- Telemedicine isn’t as effective as in-person consultations
Virtual visits are very similar to in-person appointments when it comes to the quality of the healthcare services patients receive. As long as practitioners are well-versed in the technology and the patients’ communication platform is easy to use, there should be no reason why the quality of care you provide should suffer. Just make sure that you are implementing a telemedicine platform that your practitioners can be easily trained to use. If a virtual visit is not sufficient for certain examinations, your patients should be advised and assured that in-person appointments will be catered for in those circumstances.
- Patient security could be compromised
Security is a massive concern for consumers when it comes to technology, particularly online data. Health information is a very sensitive issue and your patients should always feel safe in the knowledge that theirs will not be in jeopardy. Make sure they understand that patient identifiable health information and data cannot and will not be shared with any third party. Ensure you are complying with all government regulations, such as HIPAA, and that your patients are aware of this.
- It will be an impersonal experience
The goal of telemedicine is to provide patients with a more convenient way to manage their health. This does not involve the removal of personal interactions with your doctor, clinician, or medical practitioner. Telemedicine-based interactions are no different to in-person care except for the fact that they take place online. Let your patients know that they will still have the ability to see who is treating them via virtual visit.
While telemedicine is a great way for patients to take control of their health, it’s important to reassure them that it’s always another option and not a requirement. It’s about offering them a more convenient way to check up on their health from the comfort of their own home and is in no way a replacement for in-person hospital visits or emergency care. It allows them to become more engaged with their personal health, empowering them to take ownership of their wellbeing at a time and place that works for them. Finally, communicate to your patients that their needs will always be regarded as your number one priority.