Practicing Gastroenterology Via Telemedicine: Viable Enough?

Telehealth for Gastroenterology

Telemedicine has all the potential to be a true game-changer for providers and patients in all specialties including general practice. However, gastroenterology practice has particular attributes that make it more suited for the said approach. If you are a gastroenterologist, here are the most significant reasons to seriously consider care delivery through tele-health.

The increasing scarcity of gastroenterologists

Experts in the US health industry predicted in twenty-fifteen that the market demand for gastroenterologists is poised to grow further in the next few years and the supply will be even less than that of the present time. The specific estimation is not obtained by taking the total number of practitioners desirous of entering this specialty. On the contrary, it is computed after comprehensively studying the presumed requirement. The global population is witnessing a phenomenal increase in the number of senior individuals and more people are expected to seek colorectal cancer screening services in the coming years. The only way practices can accommodate the surging demands of both standard and gastroenterology procedures is by adopting effective means and appropriate measures that are more efficient and increasingly accessible. For certain occasions, telemedicine provides the opportunity for attending patients with greater ease and reduce your office overhead for every in-person visit made.

High number of diet-restricted and chronically ill patients

A vast majority of people with chronic health conditions, such as Hepatitis C, Crohn’s Disease, and others are routinely treated by gastroenterologists. Those kinds of patients need diet recommendations, medication checks, laboratory examinations, and other non-critical care on a periodic basis. Offering your patients all the liberty to engage telemedicine greatly aids in reducing their woes of living with a severe disorder and considerably improves the likelihood that they are to adhere to the follow-up instructions. Having a chronic medical condition is understandably challenging. If the providers are able to reduce the energy overhead, hassle, and expenditure involved in face-to-face visits to some extent, no wonder it is going to immensely help the patients.

Study confirms success

The American Journal of Gastroenterology undertook a study for evaluating the scope of telemedicine as a feasible choice for patients diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (colitis and Crohn’s). The AJG research study involved thirty-four human subjects segregated into two different groups. While the members of the first group were treated in-person, volunteers pertaining to the other received care through a secure online video appointment. The pilot study concluded an increased patient satisfaction level comparable to that found in direct physician visits and further inferred that outpatient service for clinical cases involving inflammatory bowel disease might be considered for delivery through a novel telemedicine framework.

The Bottom Line

Telemedicine can not only help in increasing the efficiency of the providers, making them more effective and improving practice outcomes but can also make health maintenance certainly a less expensive proposition and more convenient for the entire patient community. With progressive reimbursement laws becoming a reality in many of the states across the country and continuous development in the field of telemedicine, there is simply no reason why you should be shying away from exploring this unique delivery channel to make your practice available to the remote patients, increase your reach, and grow an additional source of revenue in the long-term.

With a number of advanced healthcare platforms that offer plug-and-play telemedicine along with a host of patient engagement and recruitment tools for the private and independent practices, it has become increasingly easy for the practitioners these days to provide more affordable care through secure teleconsultation services. Being the forefront of such radical market disruption, PatientMD is working relentlessly in making care affordable and accessible to all since its inception. Visit now and schedule your free demo today to understand how telemedicine can help expand your gastroenterology practice in no time.

Dr. Haleema Yezdani (internal medicine), Dr. Pranav Patel (internal medicine), Dr. Sudarsana Chakrabarti (internal medicine), and many other physicians in the USA and India have chosen to join PatientMD. The next could be you!