Video conferencing has made a huge impact on many industries, including the healthcare industry. Both large and small health care facilities are benefiting from the use of video conferencing technology.
Institutions, doctors, staff, and patients can all experience the value of using this technology. It can help facilitate communication and foster idea-sharing. Read on to learn more about how the health industries are putting video conferencing to work.
Reduced healthcare costs
Doctors and hospitals can reduce travel costs with video conferencing. Instead of attending in-person, they can use technology to be present for the following events:
- Conferences & seminars
- Staff Meetings
There's also the potential for routine doctor visits and check-ups to occur via video conferencing rather than in-person. Some diagnoses will require the patient to have an in-person physical exam, but, this is not always the case.
Video conferencing can reduce office-visit costs, and help isolate contagious patients from making others sick. Plus, medical professionals can access support staff and work with labs without having to be co-located. All of these benefits can aid in reducing operating costs.
Reduction of doctor shortages
Doctor shortages are becoming a worldwide problem, particularly in rural communities. Allowing doctors to use video conferencing can make them more efficient. If doctors are also able to charge for these services, it results in them receiving greater compensation.
The ability for doctors to see more patients in the same period, and make more money doing so, can draw more people into the profession. It can also help provide medical access to people who currently don’t have any.
Improved patient care
Doctors can use video conferencing to check-on patients who are immobile, too sick to make it into a hospital or doctor’s office. They can also access patients who live in a remote and isolated area. This technology makes it possible for doctors to provide initial consultations and follow-up visits to patients right in their own homes.
Doctors can also access lab results and other information faster by using video conferencing. They can connect with specialists all over the world for consults and advice, sharing scans, photos, and other relevant patient information. This immediate access to information results in more timely and accurate patient care.
Research shows that patients benefit from access to health care through video conferencing and other technology. These patients score lower for depression, anxiety, and stress, and have 38% fewer hospital admissions.
Fewer emergency visits
Emergency rooms can become swamped with non-critical patients during off-hours when regular doctors aren’t available. This can result in long wait times, and overworked staff. Video conferencing can allow access to trained professionals outside of regular doctor hours by connecting them with someone in a different timezone.
This technology can also allow professionals to make initial assessments to patients in their homes. Patients can then understand if they need immediate care or can wait until their usual doctor is next available.
Video conferencing technology can be used to train everyone consistently, regardless of location. Certification training sessions can be hosted by an expert anywhere in the world. Then any staff can receive this training, no matter where they’re located.
This standardisation means that hospitals and patients can be confident that any care provided will be up to standard, regardless of which doctor is providing the care. Plus, this reduces the cost of training, making it more affordable for smaller practices to work into their budgets.
The best video conferencing hardware supports improved information databases
The best video conferencing hardware enables hospitals and other healthcare practitioners to record and store information. This can be used to enhance their learning database, improve hands-on training, and create better patient files.
Instead of having a short written description of a patient’s last illness, you can now access a crystal clear 3D image of it. It will make it faster and easier to diagnose related problems and identify ongoing or recurring issues.
For new doctors and medical students, you can provide visuals of real-life examples, so they’re better prepared for recognising and diagnosing illnesses on their own.
Overcoming language barriers
An inability for a doctor and patient to clearly understand each other can lead to many issues for the patient, including:
- Lower patient use of preventive care
- Misdiagnosis of the illness
- Increased testing in order to diagnose
- Poor patient compliance with instructions
- Increased hospital and emergency room admissions
Video conferencing can overcome these issues by allowing the doctor to access a translator or another medical professional who speaks the same language as the patient. There's even 24/7 video interpretation services available. These services can also be used to have documents such as patient home-care information translated.
Improved mental health care support
Video conferencing is experiencing growing use in the mental health care industry over the last decade. It’s currently being used for therapy as well as addiction services. Patients who have mental illness may avoid seeking out in-person treatment due to feelings of shame.
These patients are often afraid of being recognised leaving or entering a mental health addiction services clinic. Now, they have access to real-time support from the privacy of their own home, which helps maintain their anonymity.
Video conferencing is changing the way we are approaching health care in Australia. Read our full managed video conferencing case study with the South Australian Association of Internal Medicine here.
Get in touch with the Express Virtual Meetings team today to find out more about how video conferencing can benefit your organisation.