One of the most exciting developments in contemporary healthcare is telemedicine which allows providers to efficiently engage and monitor patients through telephone and video conferencing. Telemedicine pledges to transform much of the healthcare industry in the coming years, but could be particularly important for professionals in the locum tenens field. A flourishing field that is quickly infiltrating much of the healthcare division, telehealth is swiftly becoming a must in physician-patient connections. It should hardly come as a shock that a survey by Accenture found 78% of respondents eager to try virtual medicine.
This vital technology is maturing at a crucial point in contemporary healthcare. There is an ongoing shortage of physicians in the United States that is rapidly increasing each year. In 2019, there are 2.56 physicians per 1,000 residents, putting the U.S. 24th among the top 28 developed nations. The Association of American Medical Colleges predicts that there will be a shortage between 46,000 and 90,400 doctors by 2025.
This shortage is especially acute in rural areas. The federal government has assigned 6,000 areas as physician shortage areas. With almost one fifth of the nation residing in under-served areas, where there is an average of 39 primary care physicians and only 30 physician specialists per 100,000 residents, this physician shortage is reaching crisis proportions in many areas of the nation.
Considering the growing need for health providers, especially in rural provinces, the advantages of remote medicine grow in importance. Rural dwellers often lack ready access to healthcare due to physical distance, limited transportation options or socioeconomic barriers. This is further compounded by the unbalanced need for medical care. Rural residents are 22% more likely to encounter injury-related death, and there is a higher rate of chronic diseases.
Locum Tenens in Telemedicine
Telemedicine in concurrence with locum tenens medical professionals may be the answer to this looming crisis. More physicians are utilizing these new tools to assist local advanced practitioners on site in more complicated cases.
Locum tenens play a firm role in the feat of telemedicine. Not only can their extensive expertise play a key role in diagnosis and urgent care, but the use of remote communication enables providers a quick and inexpensive platform for monitoring patient progress throughout the recovery. Telemedicine has shown to be a valuable time-saving tool that gives physicians and healthcare corporations the ability to see and treat more patients.