By Ross Pope, COO & CFO at Prescribery
The Covid-19 Pandemic has left an indelible mark on the medical field, and although the tragedies associated with the global health crisis will leave long-lasting impacts, we can applaud the collective healthcare systems that rose to the occasion. One way in which the healthcare industries adapted to mandated quarantine and physical distancing requirements was through the increased implementation of telehealth and telemedicine.
During the pandemic, telehealth became an invaluable tool that prioritized patient and physician safety. While telemedicine was used prior to the pandemic, Covid-19 certainly changed the landscape. The American Medical Association notes that before the pandemic, between 14% and 28% of doctors utilized telemedicine. During the pandemic, these numbers shot up to 90%, and once the pandemic is over, the AMA estimates telemedicine will remain very popular.
The Post-Pandemic Outlook of Telemedicine
The AMA describes an optimistic outlook for telehealth in a post-pandemic world. It does note, however, that the degree to which digital healthcare will remain accessible will be in part determined by whether Congress permanently lifts certain restrictions that were temporarily lifted under the CARES Act. For example, Medicare and Medicaid restrictions were lifted to allow for broader use of telehealth among participants. Notably, some of these federal expansions are set to expire at the end of 2021, but Congress has undertaken an examination to determine whether any of these restrictions should remain lifted.
The future of telemedicine looks bright. Patients who’ve participated in remote healthcare visits enjoy the conveniences associated with digital house calls.
The Benefits of Telemedicine Transcend Covid-19
The benefits of telemedicine are significant and well-suited for post-pandemic life. Even as the number of vaccinated individuals grows and lockdown restrictions are lifted, telemedicine continues to offer patients greater access to healthcare. For instance, telehealth allows rural patients the opportunity to consult with specialists that may be regionally inaccessible to them. In addition, telemedicine enables those who aren’t mobile to experience the conveniences of physician visits and prescription delivery without having to leave their homes.
Not only have more doctors embraced digital healthcare technologies, but so have pharmacists and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Streamlined medical services, like those demonstrated through Prescribery’s sophisticated and fully compliant technology, facilitate the ongoing benefits of telehealth beyond the pandemic.