Have you heard the term “telemedicine” before this article? If not, you have probably used it. Dictionary.com defines telemedicine as “the diagnosis and treatment of patients in remote areas using medical information, as x-rays or television pictures, transmitted over long distances.
Take a step back and think about things for a moment: we live in a world where instant access in the new normal. You can select next-day shipping for your online purchases. You can binge watch any show for several seasons. Any type of music is a quick swipe away from hearing. If you want an answer to any question, just ask your phone.
With all of this information just click away, why should immediate access to medical care be a long wait? Telemedicine is changing the way we look at healthcare. It’s more about getting the correct answer quickly and less about making an appointment and waiting to be seen.
Telemedicine is not a new concept but it is a growing option for employers to add to their health care packages. Ultimately, this helps to cut costs for health care and improve access for all employees. Now, 80 percent of employers offer a telehealth benefit to their employees. This may be access through apps on their phones, access to ask a nurse a question 24/7 through a phone line/internet service, and many more.
For many employers and employees, this may mean the difference between taking time off to visit a physician or being able to make quick inquiry and access to pick up a prescription at a local pharmacy quickly. This saves time for employers, employees, and licensed physicians. It’s predicted that this could save companies more than $6 billion a year in health care costs. With the savings of time and money, it is no surprise that employers and employees are flocking to the idea of telemedicine as a solution to give more access to everyone for healthcare options!