Absence Matters: Telemedicine

Tasha Patterson@Work


Telemedicine: The Doctor Will See You Now

By Bryon Bass

SVP Workforce Absence

Welcome to January as we turn the calendar and embrace the promise of a new year. One of the bright spots from the COVID-19 pandemic, and its ensuing challenges, was the widespread interest and acceptance of telemedicine as a healthcare delivery option.

While telemedicine has been in use for decades for certain medical specialties, many in the general population have been reluctant to use it. Common concerns include privacy or security, not having proper technology access or skills, or preference to see a physician in person. But when faced with increased exposure to highly infectious coronavirus in a crowded waiting room, many people opted to explore and use telemedicine instead. By the last week of March 2020, telehealth visits increased by 154% over the same period in the year prior.1

Telemedicine is typically thought of as the virtual delivery of healthcare. In essence, a physician and patient communicate using video technology and electronic messaging. The widespread availability of mobile devices and significant technology advancements make telemedicine a viable care option for many patients, with strong potential to improve overall employee experience.

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