VSee simple, secure video telemedicine platform will be at the National Urgent Care Convention in Chicago, this week April 27-29, booth #208. We will also be exhibiting at ATA 2015 booth #2602 the following week. VSee provides a complete suite of telemedicine products and services from telemedicine kits and carts with device streaming to online waiting room workflows to custom design-build-host telehealth portals.
Why Telemedicine for Urgent Care?
Telemedicine has been gaining ground in recent years with improving technology and more favorable telemedicine legislation. With the increased convenience, increased access, and increased saving it brings to time-conscious healthcare consumers, telemedicine is expected to play a key role in the growing urgent care industry.
In fact, more and more healthcare insurers are starting to include telemedicine urgent care services in their health plans so healthcare consumers don’t have to resort to going to costly ERs. National insurer Cigna has partnered with telemedicine urgent care platform MDLIVE to provide 24/7/365 access to patients by video, phone, or email. Anthem (Wellpoint) has been rolling out Livehealth Online (powered by American Well) video visits this past year for customers in several states.
Indeed, urgent care – online or not – fills a huge gap in American primary care. Survey research shows that 63% of Americans do not have ready access to medical care on nights, weekends, or holidays outside of the ER and only 57% with primary care physicians report having immediate or next-day access to their physician. On average, patients had to wait 6 days to get squeezed in to see their primary care doctor. By some estimates, 27% of ER visits are non-emergency visits that could have been seen at an urgent care center. Moreover, studies project that by 2020 the US will be short 45,000 primary care doctors.
Telemedicine offers huge potential for urgent care centers who can successfully leverage the technology – whether it’s giving patients the ability to see providers from their home or work places, utilizing providers from less busy clinics to see patients more quickly, or bringing a specialist into a consultation. As this article argues, “Understanding that time savings is what draws consumers to urgent care is a key to success in the urgent care business.” We’re living in an era where consumers are no longer tolerant of long wait times, which means for urgent care centers to be successful, they must have technology and processes in place that cater healthcare to consumers whenever and wherever they need it.
Telemedicine will play a key role in the urgent care industry in the coming years. As America deals with an increasing shortage of primary care physicians and as healthcare becomes more consumer-oriented, urgent care centers will need to provide more convenient and efficient healthcare offerings to stay competitive. Telemedicine and mHealth will be an important way to provide that increased convenience and access to the growing number of patients.
Be sure to stop by to find out how VSee telemedicine platform can help your urgent care practice be more valuable to your patients!