Telemedicine is a novel concept, which makes it possible for doctors and health advisors to provide healthcare advice and even prescriptions over the phone or via video conference to their patients. It’s an innovative and convenient step in healthcare, helping both patients and physicians save money. It’s more than just an innovative and economic decision, however. Telemedicine can also have a profoundly positive influence on the environment. As more healthcare organizations adopt such green practices, we’ll see greener healthcare pickng up the desired momentum in the future.
Telemedicine’s Economic and Environmental Impact
Healthcare is one of the most expensive, but necessary industries in the United States. It accounts for about 16 percent of the nation’s GDP. Some researches show that the use of telemedicine could save the average hospital, particularly those in the rural sector, about $81,000 every year. It would reduce travel costs, labor and wages, recuperation costs, and more.
Economics and environmental impacts often go hand in hand. As hospitals save money through telemedicine, the environment will also reap rewards.
Eco Benefits of Telemedicine
The benefits of telemedicine for the environment are varied, but here are some of those most impactful ones:
- Decreased Travel: Transportation is one of the top contributors to greenhouse gases in the United States. Travel in rural areas is particularly harmful since patients must travel further to receive medical treatment. If telemedicine was made available to these individuals, they could decrease both their doctor’s visits and their trips to the pharmacy in lieu of mailed prescriptions. This would effectively decrease their emissions.
- Smaller Buildings: Hospitals and clinics tend to be large and use more energy and waste. Telemedicine means smaller buildings, and less energy and resources.
- Greater Use of Online Materials: The use of telemedicine brings with it a greater awareness of online resources. Instead of handing out pamphlets and printing out instruction booklets, healthcare providers can provide links and e-resources to save trees and reduce the need for transportation.
Bringing Telemedicine to Every Corner of the Nation
Making telemedicine the status quo is one of the biggest challenges of creating green healthcare. Telemedicine is becoming increasingly more common in cities where access to high-speed internet and knowledge resources is popular, but rural areas aren’t so familiar with this option.
High-speed internet is becoming more common, but there’s still some work to be done in areas where the connection is not strong enough to support a video conference.
Another serious issue is spreading the word and teaching people how to use telemedicine correctly. Many people are unaware that such a service exists, and those who are not particularly tech savvy, primarily individuals above the age of 50, might have a hard time using it. This learning curve could present some disadvantages in making telemedicine mainstream.
If we want to maintain the economical and environmental benefits of telemedicine, it’s important to spread the word and make telemedicine resources available for everyone.
Article Submitted By Community Writer