Here at PDS, we take pride in highlighting some of our incredible partners. We know these companies have the potential to revolutionize pharmacies just like yours through their products and services. We’re excited to introduce Physician 360. Read on for their sponsored blog post about the importance of telemedicine and point-of-care testing.
With the recent outbreak of COVID-19 (the global coronavirus pandemic), telemedicine has seen a surge in both popularity as well as deregulation. As Americans, and the majority of the world, are all practicing social distancing in an effort to “flatten the curve,” telemedicine has been given a chance to prove it’s utility to a record number of consumers who may previously have been reluctant for any number of reasons.
Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and information technology to provide clinical health care from a distance. Telehealth is an umbrella term that includes, but is not limited to, telephone calls, remote patient monitoring, video consults and store-and-forward imaging (capturing an image or video for review by a healthcare provider at a later date). The global telemedicine market was valued at $40.11B in 2018 and is expected to reach $148.32B by 2025. While the number of patients using telemedicine services is rising, only about 8% of the US population has ever tried it. With 92% of the market still untapped, the potential for telemedicine is immense. Below are some of the many benefits of using telemedicine:
- Increases access to care – Distance and travel time between patients and care providers can limit access to care. Telemedicine can overcome geographic barriers to healthcare and be particularly beneficial for patients in medically under-served communities or rural geographical locations where clinician shortages exist.
- Reduces healthcare costs – Telemedicine can increase efficiency of care, reduce expenses of caring for patients, and can even keep patients out of the hospital.
- Improves patient engagement and satisfaction – Telemedicine makes it easier and more convenient for patients to stay healthy and engaged in their health care. Patients love the convenience and flexibility with their providers.
- Improves provider satisfaction – Telemedicine can improve job satisfaction by making it easier for providers to meet with patients. This makes it easier for them to balance their work and family life.
Point-Of-Care Testing (POCT)
“Point-of-care” testing, also known as remote testing, rapid diagnostics, near-patient testing, and satellite testing, is any kind of medical test that is not done within a laboratory setting. Point-of-care testing might be done at a health clinic, at home, in an ER room, in an ambulance, at an accident scene, on an airplane…or most importantly, at your pharmacy! Many point-of-care tests can give a patient results (and in some cases diagnoses) in very little time so that treatment or a consultation can be provided quickly.
Your independent pharmacy is the perfect place to offer these point-of-care tests, as patients will often visit their local pharmacy at a time when they are symptomatic and need care the most.
POCT and Your Pharmacy
Pharmacists interact with patients more than any other stakeholder in the healthcare system and in many cases, you are the healthcare safety net for your community. Therefore, it is very important to provide the services and guidance that your patients need and deserve. Point of Care Testing kits are top of mind and Physician360, has a wide array of testing kits you can offer your patients. The latest news is their flu telemedicine kits now come with a complimentary COVID-19 screening to patients during their flu consultation. Patients get 2 in 1: a full evaluation for flu AND a screening for coronavirus (COVID-19) during their telemedicine/video consultation.
Physician 360 now offers a Rapid COVID-19 Test for the qualitative detection of IgG and IgM antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. A member of your pharmacy team can perform the simple finger-stick test for your customers, then walk them through connecting to a Physician 360 medical provider, who can interpret their results during their telemedicine consult.
With the COVID-19 pandemic your patients may also be experiencing other ailments such as Strep, flu, UTI and anemia all of which have available test kits that come with telemedicine consults. At a time when your patients are social distancing and can eliminate one more trip to a provider’s office, these test kits are an excellent solution.
Thank you for being on the front lines and serving your community passionately in a time of need. Now is the time to add to that excellent service with point-of-care testing and telemedicine.
About the Author
At Physician 360, we are working tirelessly to provide your pharmacy with the tools you’ll need to weather this global storm. Partnering with Physician 360 allows your pharmacy to increase access to care, reduce healthcare costs, and improve patient engagement and satisfaction. You can completely rebrand your pharmacy as an urgent care equivalent all while making your community healthier and happier. By joining efforts with Physician 360, you can provide your customers with telemedicine, point-of-care testing, and convenience all in one. If you haven’t already, join us on the front lines of this telemedicine revolution!