The last year has caused a re-evaluation of the traditional ways of doing business across multiple industries. One of the hardest-hit industries, medicine, was forced to reckon with new conditions on the ground as they emerged and adapt to them as well.
The resiliency of the system, while enduring, was strained and thoroughly tested.
Telework and telemedicine, both innovations from decades past, gained new life as both the logistics and regulatory framework to allow them came to pass.
Now that we are at the beginning of a new era of medical service provision, we thought it would be wise to outline five ways that telework is giving supervising physicians and nurses a competitive edge and how it points towards the future of healthcare in general.
The immediate strength of telework for supervising physicians and nurses is that the practice is scalable to meet market demand and needs. Whereas physical locations can only service so many patients, telemedicine can scale to accommodate particular demands at peak times. Rather than focusing on increasing physical footprint in the hopes of finding or getting more patients, telework allows doctors and nurses to absorb as much business as they can possibly handle from a human resources perspective.
Because of the efficiencies offered by telework, profitability for practices tends to go up and this results in better-paid nurses and staff, among others. Just as with any industry, margins are tight in medical services and one of the major expenditures, maintaining a large physical space, is greatly reduced through teleworking options.
Medicine isn’t just about making money. It’s also about serving the patient and doing so in an effective, timely manner. Telemedicine makes doctors, nurses, and specialists from around the world accessible to patients with an Internet connection or a phone line. Broadening the base of care not only results in better patient access but also improved public health as a result.
Because of the elimination of the geographic limitation and the broader scope of services that they can offer, telework is a superior option for bringing more patients into the healthcare system due to the elimination of multiple barriers to entry. If taking care of your health becomes as simple as a video conferencing meeting, then the population of participating people will likely grow as a result making healthcare services a universal rather than a particular service.
As demonstrated over the past 12 months, teleworking is anything if not adaptable. This adaptability allowed telemedicine to pivot to critical patient needs and provide access while most of the world was in lockdown and unable to physically visit a doctor’s office. Not only did telework fill in the gaps, but it also demonstrated its ability to take up the slack in a system already stretched in terms of resources and medical staff. Because of its imminent advantages in scalability, accessibility, and adaptability, teleworking is not only the future of medicine, it is possibly the only way the industry can meet growing demands for its services.