Telehealth’s Role in Alleviating Hospital Staffing Issues
Telehealth has emerged as a game-changing solution to address the complex staffing challenges faced by the healthcare industry. The meteoric rise in nursing shortages, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, can be attributed to several factors, including retirement, burnout, and the emotional, physical, and economic burdens nurses face due to their direct patient care responsibilities. These challenges have necessitated innovative approaches to bridge the gap between patient needs and available medical professionals, for which telehealth presents a promising solution to address these issues and improve the overall healthcare system through a multifaceted approach.
Reducing Geographic Constraints for Physicians
Gone are the days when physicians could only access patients in their city or town. One of the primary advantages of telehealth is that it allows physicians to work beyond the limitations of a single geographic area. Instead of being confined to a particular hospital, physicians can provide care remotely, broadening patient access. This geographical flexibility also enables healthcare facilities to tap into a larger pool of medical professionals, reducing the strain caused by local shortages of physicians and nurses. This especially benefits underserved or rural areas with limited resources and access to additional care.
Enhancing Physician Well-being and Improving Work-Life Balance
Physicians often experience high stress and extended travel times, particularly when covering multiple facilities. The time to commute, added to the approximately 60-hour work weeks that physicians often endure, does not contribute to a healthy work-life balance and can lead to increased stress. In fact, only 65 percent of millennial physicians feel like they’ve achieved work-life balance. Telehealth eliminates the need for frequent travel, enabling physicians to provide consultations and medical support from the comfort of their own workspace. By working remotely, physicians can spend more time on actual patient care and dedicate more time to spend with their family and friends or take on new hobbies. Reduced stress and improved work-life balance can increase healthcare professionals’ job satisfaction and retention rates.
Cost Savings for Facilities
Implementing telehealth can yield significant cost savings for healthcare facilities. Since video consultations are generally less expensive than in-person consultations, hospitals save more using telehealth as a healthcare solution without setting up or traveling costs. With telehealth reducing the need for physical infrastructure and associated overhead costs, hospitals can reallocate these funds to address other pressing matters, such as training and retaining nursing staff, investing in professional development programs and advanced medical equipment, or expanding services to meet patient needs.
Addressing Emergency Situations
Emergencies happen frequently and randomly, which can be troublesome for understaffed hospitals that cannot provide immediate treatment when needed. These high-pressure situations add to the increasing workload for physicians and nurses; however, telehealth can play a critical role in emergencies. Having physicians available 24/7 for remote care and consultations can ensure timely interventions and reduce the risk of nurse burnout due to excessive workloads.
How TeleSpecialists Can Help
By enabling healthcare professionals to work remotely, reducing stress, improving patient access to care, and saving on costs, telehealth can alleviate the burdens faced by healthcare facilities and providers. Moreover, it allows for a more resilient and flexible healthcare system to better cope with surges in demand, such as those caused by pandemics or other emergencies.
As a leading provider of telemedicine services that is founded, owned, and led by physicians, we pride ourselves on offering a turnkey solution for on-call services for our hospital partners to help alleviate the stresses of everyday work life for physicians. Our 190+ physicians located nationwide are always available and present on screen for a neurologic or psychiatric emergency within a matter of minutes, ensuring that our partner hospitals always have reliable, quality, and timely service.
We’re also seeking physicians who are interested in a career in telehealth. Our board-certified specialty neurologists and psychiatrists work virtually alongside our hospital partners to ensure the highest quality patient care. Transitioning from an in-person model of care to telehealth can seem daunting, but it is a rewarding experience. Our physicians experience work-life balance, treat patients from the comfort of their own homes, and work on a shift schedule that allows them to step away from work physically and mentally when their day is done.
To learn more about our services or if you’re interested in joining our team, contact us online today or call 833-766-5321.