Medicine sees changes every year, with new technology coming out and doctors finding new ways to diagnose and treat illnesses. These changes are striving toward better patient care with the hope of saving more lives. It might be surprising to some, though, that one of these advancements in technology that is helping doctors connect with patients and helping doctors continue to learn new techniques and methods is something that many businesses use for their meetings: online web conferencing.
This video software, like online web conference BlueJeans, is changing how the medical world works. We’re just beginning to see the many benefits this software can bring, and the possibilities for the future seem endless.
Better Access to Specialists
It’s a problem that the medical community has dealt with a lot: a patient comes into the ER or urgent care and they need to see a specialist immediately or the results could be disastrous. Most of the time, this would mean the patient being taken otherwise by ambulance or by helicopter to a location where the specialist is. In some cases, it was hard to say if the patient would get there in time. It was even worse when the patient wasn’t stabilized enough to be transporter, or the nearest specialist is hours away even by the air.
The use of video conferencing in specialist shortages, according to The Hospitalist, has improved the chances of getting patients the specialized care that they need. This has been especially good in remote areas.
Video conferencing gives a doctor a chance to not only talk to the patients, but to see body language which could help the doctors figure out what is going on. This improves understanding as the specialized doctor can ask their own questions without having to rely on the other doctors to gather the information. It cuts down on the chance that vital information might be forgotten or lost in discussions.
It may not be completely as good as the doctor being there, but it’s the next best thing.
Outpatient Care vs. Continued Hospital Stays
Imagine you are in the hospital and you need to have continued care because of a serious issue, something like a heart condition, but your insurance won’t continue to pay for the stay so you have to be sent home. Or maybe it’s time for your child with severe issues must be sent home, but they still need constant monitoring. That’s a scary situation for anyone, both for patients and the doctors who are monitoring their care.
More and more hospitals are looking to what they have labeled Telehealth, The Guardian says, which is the use of technology and video conferencing to give these high risk patients better access to their doctors and specialists.
It used to be that patients with serious conditions would have to call their general doctor to get advice when something was going wrong, calls that usually led them to go the ER because it could be something serious. In some cases it was serious, but in many it might not have been. With the use of video software, patients can have better access to their specialists and they might be able to cut down on expensive and time consuming ER visits. A doctor can talk to and assess what the patient is experiencing. In some cases, the patient might still have to go the ER, but in quite a few the doctors are able to diagnose what the issue is and prescribe what needs to happen.
Patients can feel secure that they are getting good treatment without spending thousands of dollars in medical bills, and doctors can feel secure that their patients are in good hands.
Continued Education for Doctors
The U.S. National Library of Medicine says that ongoing education for doctors is an important aspect to continuing to advance patient care. With new technology and techniques coming into practice, it’s necessary that doctors are able to get the training they need to use it all correctly. The problem is that doctors are always very busy, which limits their ability to take time off to go to the teachers that can show them the correct ways to use these new tools.
The use of video conferencing has made access to those who can teach these techniques easier. Now classes can be given through video so doctors from all over the world can come together to learn without ever having to leave their practice.
This means that more and more doctors will be able to be trained in new techniques, equipment, and technology so the patient is better taken care of.
This technology is changing the face of medicine, and the benefits are easy to see. This is bringing about better patient care and better continued education for doctors. This is possibly only scratching the surface of what can be done using web conferencing, but the results easily point towards web conferencing being a great way to make the health care field better.