Reason 3: Doctor-patient relationships
Living and working through this pandemic has brought one unifying quality of providers into the light: our strongest motivator is our patients. Once it became clear that telemedicine was the safest way to deliver care, all providers were engaged.
Neither experience, age, nor digital inclination were barriers to embracing the best way to get back to caring for their patients.
For patients as well, the importance of continued contact with their trusted provider was motivation to chance an experience with new technology. Care delivery methods were imbued with the trust cultivated in the doctor-patient relationship.
The doctor-patient relationship being at the center of telemedicine influenced the overwhelmingly positive experiences reported. In the setting of a video visit, doctor and patient are looking at one another. The computer is no longer obstructing eye contact, but allowing them to focus on one another.
Of patients who tried video visits, 83 percent reported a positive experience.1 Despite pre-pandemic trepidation about the quality of medicine delivered through devices, 96 percent of physicians reported that their patient visits were effective.2
With approval numbers such as those above, it is almost certain that telemedicine will be a staple of care delivery long after we are able to safely gather again. Convenience, ease, and the surprisingly intimate setting are appreciated by both patient and provider.
Telemedicine will help improve access to care. For patients with limitations that make business hours and travel to clinics a challenge, telemedicine options can improve quality of care.
As of now 81 percent of American adults own a smartphone, with growth in ownership up nine percent from 2019 to 2020 alone.
After witnessing the importance of telemedicine during this pandemic, we have a mandate to continue to invest in research and technology that will better deliver primary care.