The average locum tenens provider spends four (4) hours on travel when you consider round trip flights to and from the worksite, airport delays, and commuting. In many cases, this is just unavoidable and part of the locum lifestyle. For many providers who can’t or don’t want to travel, Telemedicine is an excellent choice.
With the new focus on patient engagement and preventative medicine, telemedicine for specialty care providers has become an integral part of the healthcare delivery continuum. Frequent follow-up and reducing the demand on emergency rooms and urgent care facilities can be accomplished through strategic use of telemedicine.
At National Health we like to be ahead of the curve for providing a wider range of unique opportunities for locum tenens contract providers, and cost-effective solutions for our loyal client facilities.
We offer plentiful traditional (on-site) locums opportunities, but we also we hold exclusive telemedicine contracts and are always seeking to add highly qualified providers to our candidate pools. If you’d be interested in supplementing your income working from home or your office in the rapidly growing telemedicine field, please fill out our quick application now!
Telemedicine increases patient engagement with easy access to care
Missed appointments and lack of treatment plan adherence lead to poor health outcomes. By giving patients easy access to remote care, they become more engaged in their healthcare with no extra work. This has long-term benefits to patients, their pocketbooks and the healthcare system, overall.
Less than 20 percent of the U.S. population resided in rural areas. The density of the entire U.S. population is about 87 people per square mile, but the density of the urban population is more than 2,500 people per square mile. More than 80 percent of the U.S. population lives on less than 5 percent of the total land area. However, about 60 million people still live in rural areas and do not have easy access to care.
Telemedicine has been used for decades in clinical settings. In 1906, the inventor of the electrocardiogram published a paper on the telecardiogram. Since the 1920s, the radio has been used to give medical advice to clinics on ships. Alaska has been a model for the development and use of telemedicine for decades. For example, community health aides in small villages can perform otoscopy and audiometry, and the information can be sent to specialists in Anchorage or Fairbanks to make the determination of whether a patient needs to travel to the specialist for more definitive treatment. Today, we think of office-based telemedicine as flat-screen, high-definition units with peripheral devices that can aid in physical examination of the patient.
Store and forward (collecting clinical information and sending it electronically to another site for evaluation ) technologies have been a great advance. For example, in ophthalmology and optometry, non-mydriatic cameras can be used to perform retinal screenings in diabetics without needing to dilate the eyes; this has increased screening rates. Teledentistry has been used too by dental hygienists and dentists to improve access to oral health care. Dermatology and psychology are two of the biggest areas for telemedicine. Since the 1990s, studies have shown high rates of agreement between diagnoses made in person and diagnoses made via teledermatology. Other studies of teledermatology show high satisfaction rates and no delay to definitive care. Barriers to its adoption by dermatologists have a lot to do with reimbursement. Similarly, studies show positive results between diagnosis and treatment plans with in-person mental health care and those developed using telehealth technologies. Telemedicine equipment will continue to evolve. For example, there is already an otoscope that connects to an iPhone. Also, there will be more integration of telemedicine and decision support systems into electronic health records.
*Each state medical board has guidelines for the appropriate use of telemedicine technologies in Medical Practice.
Generally the guidelines address:
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