Telemedicine is not new in healthcare, but it continues to grow. It is a tool that provides value to hospitals and medical practices while increasing access to care for patients.
From the clinician standpoint, it brings new levels of flexibility to practicing medicine. Pamela Ograbisz, DNP, FNP-BC, Associate Vice President of Telehealth at LocumTenens.com, spoke with Jessica Whipkey, M.D. about her experience with telehealth and why clinicians should consider it for the next step in their careers.
Dr. Whipkey is only one success story. Many other providers who work in telehealth often extoll the benefits of virtual medicine. The added flexibility has driven many providers to explore telehealth and the personal benefits it affords to clinicians.
A traditional staffing model rarely provides schedule flexibility or control for the clinician. With telehealth, clinicians have more options to practice medicine on their own terms. Clinicians can work across time zones and find opportunities that best fit their unique scheduling needs. For many, the ability to choose their own hours and assignments brings a new sense of control and flexibility to the work environment. That level of freedom, while still practicing in your chosen profession, is leading more clinicians to look to telehealth for their next career step.
Burnout is a major concern for clinicians, but it is not a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question. There are shades of burnout that determine the mental state of a clinician and how likely the clinician is to step away from the profession. That’s why it is important to find opportunities that embrace work-life balance and safeguard the wellbeing of clinicians. Telehealth can play a role in creating a sustainable environment for clinicians by providing flexibility and new opportunities.
Patients actually like telehealth. Many may have felt they were pushed into telehealth during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but patients have seen the ease and speed in which they can receive care. According to an American Medical Association report 62% of patients feel they have a higher satisfaction due to telehealth. Every day, clinicians put patients first. By embracing telehealth, they are able to meet patients where they are and improve the experience—which is why most clinicians got into medicine in the first place.
Telehealth is still on the rise. Hospitals and medical practices, which have previously been slow to embrace virtual medicine, are starting to utilize telehealth services for more specialties. That is opening more opportunities for clinicians – and with the ability to set a schedule and create flexibility, clinicians see the value that comes with exploring telehealth in their careers.