Telehealth: Protecting Patient Care From a Distance
A surprising silver lining in the Covid-19...
Even before this nationwide uptick in telemedicine usage spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic, patients with multiple sclerosis were reporting rising acceptance for virtual visits with their healthcare providers. And now telemedicine is more appreciated and accepted than ever in the MS world!
Multiple sclerosis can create certain barriers that interfere with accessing healthcare for both disease evaluation and treatment. Telemedicine can go a long way in bridging that access gap, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University, particularly for patients with multiple sclerosis who face barriers related to distance from a medical facility or limitations from MS-related disability.
In short, even in non-pandemic times, MS patients have reported that telemedicine simplifies many day-to-day concerns about accessing healthcare. Obviously, remote visits cannot be the only way to get healthcare, since some visits will still need to be face-to-face for testing such as an MRI or if a treatment such as an infusion is needed.
Both patients with MS and clinicians now report a high level of acceptance when it comes to telemedicine, including for video-based neurologic follow-up visits, conducting cognitive testing, health promotion, and home-based treatment management. Even the Veterans Administration is on-board with this medium of healthcare for MS patients in their care.
Of course, 2020 has served to highlight the social distancing advantage of telemedicine. In addition, patients appreciate virtual health for its reduced travel burden, less time off work, and ease for caregivers. In short, it saves time and lowers costs.
If your practice is ready to take telemedicine a little further, but you could use some help navigating the telemedicine world, then you’re in luck. BioPlus has a free ebook available with advice, tips, and resources: Telehealth Today: Expand (or Start!) Your Remote Telemedicine Practice.