With the uncertainty and chaos that COVID-19 has brought to the world, telehealth is more relevant than ever before. Healthcare workers have scrambled for a way to treat more patients safely, and telehealth has provided them with a way to deliver comprehensive services through the internet.
Telemedicine services can enhance healthcare delivery by pharmacies within their communities. Patients can perform a basic test based on condition, right in the pharmacy. They then can consult with a medical professional on their smartphone, with prescriptions faxed to the pharmacy immediately. Telehealth services benefit patients by saving time, money, and the hassle of booking a doctor’s appointment. Pharmacies can now rebrand themselves as a one-stop-shop by expanding their services to include virtual video visits with medical professionals and a patient treatment plan. Pharmacies who offer telehealth get more than just expanded services to offer to customers; they can drive additional traffic to their locations and increase prescription fills.
According to a poll by the Medical Group Management Association, 97% of medical practice leaders have expanded their practices to telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth is allowing providers and patients to interact without having to worry about spreading the coronavirus. People in rural areas or senior communities who may have struggled to reach a doctor are now able to have faster and easier access to healthcare. The telehealth revolution is allowing independent pharmacies to expand healthcare access for many customers, allowing them to be treated during the pandemic when the hospital and urgent care access is reduced. Many marginalized groups with limited resources can be empowered via technology. Patients are able to stay in the comfort of their home while still getting to speak to a physician, and pharmacies experiencing decreased foot-traffic can sell additional services.
With telehealth becoming more important than ever, healthcare is facing a new generation of delivery. The normalization of telehealth has proven both its effectiveness and scalability in a way not previously seen. Online healthcare has the potential to become a way of life, expanding both regular care and acute diagnosis. Telemedicine services are about more than allowing everyone to stay healthy and safe – with just a few clicks, they allow independent pharmacies to compete with urgent care centers and deliver cost-effective care to Americans that may otherwise avoid care centers.