Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 5.43.48 PMDuring the last year, most Americans needed a healthcare visit, and due to the pandemic, most had at least one virtual doctor visit.

What was realized in this last year was that in healthcare, necessity truly is the mother of invention. Innovations to virtual healthcare became a necessity to bring quality care to all Americans when walking out your front door became a serious health risk.

So, what new forms of telemedicine were created during the pandemic that could offer better healthcare moving forward? And what did healthcare professionals learn about virtual doctor visits? Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of virtual doctors.

Benefits of Virtual Healthcare

Studies show patient satisfaction with telehealth is high. Many long-standing barriers to virtual doctor visits were broken down because of the pandemic. Red tape was cut up, and new laws were enacted to make sure that all Americans could still have quality access to healthcare from the comfort of their homes. The following is a list of the benefits of virtual healthcare:

  • Save Time: One of the greatest benefits is time-saved. Virtual appointments can be scheduled and completed faster than in-person visits. With virtual appointments, there is no driving, not sitting in a waiting room, and no taking time off of work for an appointment. 
  • Increased Access: Patients gain access to high-quality medical care from their homes. This became a necessity during the first few months of the pandemic. The ability to speak with a doctor and stay home helped stop the spread of COVID-19 and kept patients safe for both routine and urgent care visits.
  • No Travel Required: Telemedicine allows patients to make appointments with specialized doctors 24/7, nationwide. This allows patients to receive the best care possible from the specialist who can best serve their needs — all without extensive travel.
  • Cost Savings: With so much time saved by both provider and patient, virtual doctor’s visits often cost less than in-person visits. 
  • Private, Quality Care: Telemedicine is covered under HIPPA privacy policy, keeping medical information confidential. This creates the same standard as an in-person doctor’s visit.

Disadvantages of Virtual Healthcare

While a virtual doctor’s appointment saves patients time and money, there are differences between a virtual visit and an in-home visit. The largest differences between virtual doctor’s visits and in-home doctor’s visits are the ability to physically examine a person, provide specific testing, and prescribe certain medications. Here is a list of limitations a patient may encounter from only having a virtual doctor’s appointment:

  • Limited Complex Medical Diagnosis: Online doctors are unable to diagnose and treat complex medical conditions. Many times, a patient has multiple symptoms or health issues. An in-person doctor’s visit allows the doctor to understand the interaction of different medications, symptoms, and illnesses.
  • Physical Examination Limitations: While many illnesses can be diagnosed through patients’ reported symptoms, with a virtual appointment, physical examinations can't be conducted. Many symptoms require a doctor’s physical examination to determine the correct diagnosis. This may even include ordering X-rays or lab tests as part of the physical exam.
  • Lack of Technical Infrastructure: Not all physicians participate in telemedicine. While virtual healthcare is becoming more widely accepted, there are still many healthcare providers who simply do not have the infrastructure to engage in quality virtual healthcare services.
  • No Diagnostic Testing: Diagnostic testing is not available through standard telemedicine.When a virtual physician encounter needs testing the patient has to be sent to a clinic or hospital, unless they are using EZaccessMD. Others do not offer in-home x-rays, EKGs, lab tests (flu, strep, urinalysis, COVID-19), or ultrasounds.
  • Technology Learning Curve: If patients are unwilling to use technology, they will not be able to participate in telemedicine appointments. It can feel difficult to learn new technology, but most quality virtual healthcare programs help patients navigate learning how to use healthcare technology.

EZaccessMD Offers Both In-Home and Virtual Telemedicine

With EZaccessMD, you don't have to choose between a virtual doctor’s visit or an in-home doctor’s visit. Because they provide both telemedicine services and urgent mobile care, patients can speak with a virtual doctor and within two hours have a physical examination in their home.

EZaccessMD gives patients access to care coordinators, U.S. board certified doctors, and mobile technologists 24/7 — ensuring that you are able to respond to urgent care health events as well as maintain good health through preventative care. 

With EZaccessMD, you get the most innovative telemedicine today — full healthcare services catered to the patient in their home, allowing them to choose when they need a virtual doctor’s visit and when they need an in-home doctor’s visit. The patient’s needs are at the center of EZaccessMD’s telemedicine and mobile care, working together to improve access to quality care. 

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EZaccessMD is the only mobile urgent care that offers diagnostic testing and imaging in the home or workplace. Not only are we revolutionizing the way employees get care, we’re making it affordable for them and their employers.

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