8 Undeniable Benefits of Telehealth for Patients

Kacey Whitlock

Author

Benefits-of-telehealth

Simply put, telehealth is the future of urgent care. Haven’t heard about telehealth or telemedicine? You’re missing out.

What if I told you that you don’t have to drag yourself to urgent care when you feel unwell? That a prescription or medical advice is just a phone call or a video chat away? Telehealth is changing the way we get medical care, and studies are showing that not only do people prefer telehealth over traditional medical care, but telehealth reduces hospital admissions, increases access to care, and helps people become more engaged in their healthcare.

Here are 8 undeniable reasons telehealth is the future of urgent care.

Benefits Of Telehealth

Telehealth has a wide variety of benefits that help you manage your health better, especially when you have a health issue that you would normally take to an urgent care clinic or you live in a rural area with limited access to urgent care. Here’s a closer look at 8 benefits of telehealth.

#1 – Seeing an online doctor saves time

When you’re sick, the last thing you want is to drive across town just spend half an hour in a waiting room with a bunch of other sick people and another twenty minutes alone in a room waiting for the doctor. Telehealth allows you to schedule appointments on your own time.

Since you can have a phone or virtual appointment anywhere, you don’t need to leave home or work. That saves you travel time and all the waiting you would do in an urgent care clinic.

In addition, since your prescriptions are sent electronically to your pharmacy, you can wait at home or work until they’re ready rather than driving to the pharmacy, dropping off the prescription, then waiting for them to fill it. With time being such a valuable resource, saving time is definitely a huge benefit of telehealth.

#2 – Get prescriptions online

If you have recurring health problems like yeast infections or bronchitis, you probably hate going to the doctor just to be handed a prescription you then have to take to your pharmacy. With telehealth, the doctor can electronically send the prescription to your pharmacy, which can often have it ready by the time you arrive to pick it up. No more waiting around the pharmacy for your prescription to be filled.

telemedicine-benefits

#3 – Increased access to care

Rural areas, in particular, tend to have limited health services and virtually no public transportation. Another one of the benefits of telehealth is that it allows even the most rural people to get quality care without going dozens, if not hundreds, of miles out of the way for medical care.

With telehealth, you can have a doctor’s appointment from the comfort of your own home. Then all you have to do is get to the pharmacy. You can even have somebody else pick up your prescription for you if you’re homebound.

With increased access to care, more people can receive the treatment they need rather than hoping their symptoms will pass without any medical intervention or going out of their way to find transportation.

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#4 – Fewer hospital admissions

With telehealth, you can get care any hour of the day or night. Most urgent care clinics are closed overnight, so if you’re feeling unwell, you can choose telehealth over going to the emergency room or waiting for an urgent care clinic to open in the morning.

Also, talking to a doctor about your symptoms from the convenience of your home means you can address your health issue before a lack of care causes it to become significantly worse and potentially life-threatening.

One study showed that using telemedicine led to:

  • 38% fewer first-time hospital admissions
  • 31% fewer hospital re-admissions
  • 63% increased likelihood of spending fewer days in the hospital
  • Better engagement in their own healthcare

#5 – Patients prefer telehealth

A 2013 survey showed that 74% of patients are comfortable talking to doctors using technology rather than seeing the doctor in person. Since three out of four people seem to show a preference for telehealth over in-person care, telehealth is undeniably the future of urgent care.

Doctor-Patient-communication

#6 – Improved patient engagement

Going to urgent care is a hassle. If you can’t muster up the energy to go to the doctor, at least a telehealth appointment gets you talking to a doctor about symptoms you might otherwise ignore. Taking a more proactive approach with your health also helps you manage health issues before they become more severe.

#7 – Cheaper than traditional healthcare

Since a telehealth doctor has lower overhead costs – like not paying any staff or business costs – telehealth appointments are often cheaper than going to an urgent care clinic.

This is especially the case for people without insurance. Without insurance, a visit to an urgent care clinic can cost more than $100. With Bonum Health, $99 gives everybody, including uninsured people, unlimited access to telehealth services for an entire year. That means it pays for itself after only one visit for people without insurance.

#8 – Improved quality of care

Telehealth doctors have more flexibility in their schedule. While urgent care doctors are rushing from patient to patient, telehealth doctors can take their time with each scheduled appointment. That means you’re more likely to get the care you need.

With improved quality of care, you can manage your health better in the long run. All in all, it’s easy to see that telehealth is the future of urgent care.

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