Practicing medicine has never been known as a stress-free profession. There are often long hours, patient surges, and decisions that can be a matter of life and death. Add in government regulations, insurance changes, and a lingering pandemic, and it's no wonder that over 60% of emergency and 53% of critical-care physicians reported occupational burnout last year.
This stress has proven too much for some, prompting early retirements and career changes, as more than 1.7 million healthcare workers quit their jobs in the first half of 2022. However, some hospitals and medical establishments are lessening the burden on their providers by implementing telemedicine programs.
It has already been established that becoming a telemedicine provider has immense benefits, like having time to reach personal and professional goals, more time for family, and flexible schedules. But, for the in-person provider, telemedicine also provides a better workplace environment and can considerably reduce the stress of day-to-day functions.
Telemedicine allows providers to manage their schedules better. As patients are less likely to cancel a virtual visit, in-person physicians are less burdened with the costs that come from missed appointments. For example, suppose a patient is coming in to see their primary care doctor while also being able to schedule an appointment with a specialist virtually while in the same office. In that case, that appointment is more valuable to the patient. They will be less likely to cancel, and having more patients show up at their scheduled times allows more organization for the entire staff.
Stressed-out doctors are often rushed and unfocused, which can lead to less-safe patient care. In fact, 60% of doctors stated that they believe virtual care improves the doctor-patient experience because they are working with more manageable schedules and less burnout. In addition, virtual care helps providers keep track of chronic disease management, which can help prevent emergency department visits, manage medications, and deliver better supervision and less stress for both provider and patient.
Addressing coverage gaps
Depending on the type of facility, providers may not have control over what types of cases walk through their doors. It is often impossible to predict, which can make specialty providers unavailable. That leaves the primary physician responsible for picking up the slack. Telemedicine gives in-person providers the tools to offer patients access to specialists if needed, providing better care and more satisfaction for the doctor, knowing that the patient received the care they needed.
Support for physicians
Healthcare providers are only human, and like everyone else, they, too, have to take care of their mental health. Similar to their patients, receiving mental health services through telemedicine can help them work through stress and burnout, even with a demanding schedule. There are some studies that suggest that patients prefer telepsychiatry over face-to-face visits because sharing their emotions with someone virtually seems more private than speaking in person, which in the case of providers may prove true as local medical communities can be tight-knit.
Improve performance while decreasing stress
Telemedicine allows providers to maintain (and grow) their practices and improve care without increasing occupational stress. This virtual technology was created for both patients and providers, delivering helpful, quicker, and comprehensive solutions to those in need. If you would like to learn more about how telemedicine can offer complete healthcare solutions while taking stress off of your staff, contact VirtualMed Staff to get started.
If you'd like a custom telemedicine solution for your hospital, get started with a consultation today!