Worst Advice You Could Ever Get About Telemedicine

Even before exploring the services, most people would have got at least one worst advice about telemedicine.

Telemedicine has seen a shift in usage in India in the past couple of months. The risk of contracting COVID-19, challenges of lockdown & curfews, reduced travel time & wait times, and availability of telemedicine in rural areas and for vulnerable patients have all resulted in this shift. Telemedicine is undoubtedly promising to grow in the coming months.

Although we see clear benefits to both physicians and patients, telemedicine is still facing acceptance issues among new users due to wrongly directed advice. Here are some of the common worst advice you could ever get about telemedicine.

For Patients

Efficacy of Care

The attention you get with an in-person visit is undeniably the best; however, not the most recommended one during these times.

Advice: You may have come across friends saying that telemedicine is affordable, but it may not be as effective as an in-person visit. In most cases, misdiagnosis through a video or audio consultation scares people only because of the attention span.

Reality: If we follow the guidelines about punctuality, discipline, and preparation for the consultation, then the benefits of telemedicine outweigh the perception of naysayers. For detailed information, refer to our blog on Benefit the Most From Your Telemedicine Consultation.

Quality of Care

Advice: Patients believe that care continuity suffers due to the scattered healthcare system and allocation of random physicians as a result of the unavailability of their primary care physician each time.

Reality: The belief in keeping quality of care and the power of accessibility positions telemedicine as a triaging tool. Telemedicine can then expand to chronic care management, pain management, and regular follow-ups. The solutions built will enable the physician to access the patient’s previous visit summaries and histories. Providers, in turn, are also very particular and make sure that they have access to their patient’s latest diagnosis and summaries.

For Providers

Patient-Provider Connection

Advice: Some of the physicians who have never used telemedicine advise the onboarding physicians that they cannot connect with their patients over video consultation.

Reality: The connection established with patients are just like your regular WhatsApp or video call, but a compliant one. With COVID-19 moving every company into Digital 2.0 and everyone on the planet now accepting technology for communications, virtual visits are common and soon will be the new normal.

Time Invested in Setup

Advice: Some physicians receive unsolicited advice about wasting time in initiating the setup of telemedicine.

Reality: Onboarded physicians initially will undergo a learning phase as do their patients. After completion of the learning phase, it is easy for physicians to quickly review previous lab results, wellness exams, medication refills, and previous visit summaries. Both video and audio consultations will fare well for users as well. Vendors like us, MyTeleOPD, post demo videos, in-app tutorials to help first-time users in preparing quickly to use telemedicine services.

As one of the physicians said, “The platforms are getting easier to use. I had a successful consultation with an old patient because the patient had to only click on a link that was texted to them. It definitely is an easy way of using telemedicine, both for physicians and patients. People are calling from wherever their natives are in the comfort of their homes. Functionally, telemedicine has proven its utility and benefit.”

For Hospital Administrators

Advice: Compliance, medico-legal issues, and infrastructure are complex and cannot be plug and play. It’s too much to do for too little.

Reality: The best of the vendors out there are already spearheading discussions with lawyers, IT security experts, and infrastructure providers to bring in a plug & play solution like MyTeleOPD. Awareness, once built, will largely benefit hospitals to keep their patients consulting despite lockdowns and restrictions.

Did You Know?

According to a study, the use of telemedicine services has reduced 38% of admissions. This percentage proves that telemedicine is an active and effective means of providing care. Providers at the same time are accountable, too, as there are laws in place introduced by the Government to regulate accountability.

MyTeleOPD answers all queries for their users, be it, providers or patients. Rest assured, you will receive the best advice about the services. Contact us and start using our solution to experience the benefits from the comfort of your home.

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3 Steps to Implement a Successful Telemedicine Program in Hospitals

The implementation of a successful telemedicine program is not rocket science. Initially, it requires a lot of time, marketing, and operations efforts, it is similar to building a specialty practice in your hospital.

Telemedicine is the real buzz among Healthcare Organizations and Patients due to its unique advantage of protecting Doctors and Patients from contracting the deadly Coronavirus. It is now the need of the hour for hospitals to provide healthcare services at its normal best.

We can all learn from a small football-loving country, Portugal. The Portugal National Healthcare System has been successful in adopting Telemedicine. The healthcare fraternity is fixated at Portugal National Healthcare System, as 87% of their hospitals use telemedicine today, which means its larger population has access to it without visiting the hospital. Telemedicine in Portugal originally grabbed the spotlight in the healthcare industry due to the unavailability of healthcare services in remote places, especially for the elderly population who were unable to travel. Later it continued as part of their normal healthcare system to avoid crowded Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) and long wait times. This adoption has reduced unnecessary OPD visits with a reduction in readmissions by 75%. Today Portugal hospitals are the highest users of telemedicine technology.

The Government of India is also encouraging the adoption of telehealth to help mitigate risks and reduce COVID-19 cases. The guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare are easy to understand and follow. If only the Government would go a step ahead and start incentivizing the hospitals for adopting Electronic Health Records which would be awesome.

Step 1: Awareness

Awareness of the technology, process and environment is where you kick start your implementation for a successful telemedicine program

Create a Learning Environment for Providers

Any change in a hospital is usually interrupted with some hindrance. There could be users who are still learning to use technology or processes. Awareness can be created by providing mock calls and practice environment to providers before they get started.

Get Patients On-Board

It is essential to have a strategy in place to educate patients about the use of the application and prepare them before consultations. Patients can be informed through social media where demo videos are published. They can even be informed on the organization’s website where a learning video on accessing e-consultation can be made available. Well instructed patients are more likely to save the physician’s and hospital’s time. Sending out reminders over messages, emails, or calls to patients about their upcoming consultation will also aide in their digital doctor visits. Remember, it is not only crucial to get the patient’s informed consent before getting started, but also mandatory to know the patient-physician identity.

Step 2: Access

Usage typically depends on the Ease of Access and it is vital for implementing a successful telemedicine program

Make it Easy

Make it easy for Patients to access Telemedicine Services. Have Call to Action buttons placed right on the homepage of your hospital website. Also, ensure that the providers can easily access the Telemedicine platform, you should have the IT team to add them as bookmarks or create links on the intranet. Educate your patients and providers on how to access the platform.

Vendor With Software Support System

The Indian market has quite a few telemedicine vendors. However, hospitals are highly recommended to opt for telemedicine vendors who provide complete software support.

When a patient has an eConsultation in the off hours and a physician faces a technical issue at the nick of the moment, the reliable software support team will be the rescuer of that situation. Having a backup or alternative plan for eConsultation keeps the session on. It not only enhances providers’ confidence but also gains confidence in the targeted population to continue using the technology. The targeted population can indirectly do marketing of providers by referring or posting good reviews on social media.

Step 3: Adoption

Good outcomes require Adoption, the step 3 ensures that your entire telemedicine program has been implemented successfully.

Augment Telemedicine

Telemedicine should augment your regular healthcare services and not be run in a silo and to ensure that this happens you need to make sure that Steps 1 and 2 are implemented successfully. Active participation of Providers, Patients, and hospital staff is vital to the success of the program.

Identify & Inform Before, During, and After session formalities

Make sure the provider has the documentation that needs to be created or needed for eConsultations. Identifying the documentation such as the patient consent form, uploading previous visit summary or diagnostic results, documenting the visit summary, and a few tips for staff on workflow will prove helpful for the use of telemedicine in hospitals.

  • Ensure ePrescription should be based on the Government’s policy.
  • Review billing policy for self-pay, insurance coverage, and waiver.
  • Identify Integration tools and the setup for EMRs
  • Verifying the equipment set up and compatibility with mobile and desktop.
  • Review the data security is intact as PHI is involved.

As they say, success is a journey and not the destination. So make sure you get all the 3A’s for a successful implementation of your telemedicine program.

MyTeleOPD has successfully implemented Telemedicine in Large Tertiary Care Hospitals as well as Solo Practices, to know more on how you can successfully implement Telemedicine Program click here

Don’t forget the telemedicine session ambiance should be like any regular physician-patient physical encounter, calm and well lit. Being prepared in formal attire for Doctors is equally important to ensure that the patient gets the look and feel of physical interaction with a doctor in a hospital. Lastly, and most importantly, make sure that the doctor’s face is completely visible during video consultation is key to the patient’s experience and feeling of being heard.

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Why Does Telemedicine Matter Now?


Telemedicine, as the name suggests, is the use of Tele (Distance) and Medicine to consult a Doctor, has started gaining acceptance among all age groups. With restrictions imposed on hospital and clinic visitations, the Doctors, along with the entire medical fraternity, want to consult online for ensuring the safety of their patients and reducing their risk of contracting the deadly virus.

Why Telemedicine Matters Now The Most?

We are currently living in a world of crisis where social distancing is the new life mantra. Everyone everywhere is fighting a battle with an invisible enemy. Ironically, the advancement in Science & Technology is not enough to fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The current pandemic, lockdown, and restrictions have made people all over the world embrace technology to stay in touch with their loved ones. Communities and social groups are now using tools that were used only by Corporates and Enterprises. The majority of social functions I participate in are through Zoom, Google Meet, or other such technologies.

How Hospitals Are Handling The Shift?

During the lockdown period, Hospital Out-Patient Departments that were shut down are now opened up to serve patients. However, the risk of getting infected is still high, with cases of even Doctors and Nurses testing positive for COVID-19 (a considerable loss in the facilitation of care in the current crisis). Although mitigation of risk to a certain extent is successful with the use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and redirection of patients with fever to Fever Clinics by Doctors, the situation for Doctors and Patients remains sensitive.

Hospitals are now figuring out the best way to serve patients and create awareness among doctors & operations staff on the use of technology. Telemedicine, at this point, can break the chain of the spread of COVID-19 and help with the initial assessment of COVID-19 symptoms. This has enabled Doctor Consultations to shift from in-person visits to e-visits. Some of the scenarios are listed below.


Most patients do not take serious note of the follow-up date and instructions due to long travel and wait times. Telemedicine decreases ‘No Show’ consultations for scheduled follow-ups.

Regular Visits

Patients with flu-like symptoms or minor ailments can be assessed and diagnosed through telemedicine consultations.

Chronic Care

Patients with chronic conditions requiring periodic follow-ups can be consulted through telemedicine. This will prevent added stress of travel and risk of infection due to existing comorbidities.

Clinical Reviews

When diagnostic results are received for clinical review, patients and doctors can now easily connect through a scheduled telemedicine consultation.

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued guidelines on handling New Patient Visits & Follow-up visits, medications that can be prescribed, and addressing compliance and legal issues. A glance about Telemedicine and related compliance is also available as a FAQ here.

Telemedicine is here to stay!

The added advantages of telemedicine for patients are that they do not have to wait longer than they should or travel long distances to their preferred doctor. Patients have also testified about the comparative reduction in their expenses. Physicians, on the other hand, have increased consultations with fewer ‘No Shows’ and effective utilization of their scheduled time.

MyTeleOPD continues to help hospitals and clinics facilitate thousands of OPD consultations and create awareness among Doctors, Patients, Operations Staff on the advantages and proper use of Telemedicine.

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The E(Re)volution of Telemedicine

One small step for humans and one giant leap to mankind that we all know is because of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). What we don’t know is that Telemedicine was first used by NASA in 1989 to monitor Astronauts remotely and in this case, it was way out of this World to take care of the Astronauts and understand how their physiology responded to space and low gravity.

Telemedicine / Telehealth is the buzz word now just like zoom meetings and all because of the lockdowns due to the COVID-19 Crisis. A lot of people without knowing about telemedicine have always consulted their family physician over Phone in times of need and got the much-needed consultation and most of the times when you hear your Doctor’s voice there is an assurance and your heart rate and temperature goes down and you start feeling a little better already.

Telemedicine is not new, it’s been there for decades and existed since the time telecommunications started to grab the attention of every human and interconnect every individual. There are good and not so good versions of telemedicine but ultimately the onus is always with the care provider.

In the past few decades, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) along with Tata Memorial set up satellite clinics and consultations using actual satellites and this helped a lot of cancer patients and bringing the doctor community together using technology. You can read more about ISRO’s Telemedicine project and what it does and which are the tribals that they connect for treatment here. Of course, there is no movie on this and Akshay Kumar probably didn’t know about this so you probably didn’t know that.

Telemedicine is used in almost all the primary health centers in the northern parts of India and I heard this story from a friend who had to be admitted in Keylong, Himachal Pradesh a beautiful small town where he had symptoms of Hypoxemia which occurs when levels of oxygen in the blood are low. The state-run primary health center consulted with Apollo Doctors via Video Con and went over the patient reports to ensure that the patient got all the care that was needed.

It’s not Telemedicine that is new, it’s the idea of consulting with Doctors over telephone, video and possibly chat that is new and this has started to get acceptance into our society and even for the developed world; that care can be delivered remotely but not all care can be delivered remotely. It is the provider (Doctor) who decides and just like how you would listen to a professional/expert you should always listen to your doctors. If anyone knows about Human Body, Diseases, Conditions, and how everything affects the human body it is Doctor Saab / Saiba your family physician or a specialist.

The Government of India and the Medical Council of India have done a fantastic job and quick turnaround on Telemedicine guidelines and clearly mentioned what can be done for follow up patients, new patients, and even new consultations for new symptoms or conditions with existing patients. You can get a quick faq or read the entire document at this link

If you are a Doctor and looking for a simple and easy to use solution that will take your consultations online and convert your existing clinic into a Digital Clinic I would suggest that you use MyTeleOPD Digital Clinic. It is simple, intuitive, your patients and you don’t have to install an app and configure it (YES It’s True) it directly runs on the browser and there are a ton of features and technology that will give you and your patients a Digital Experience with state of the art compliance. Try today and you can reach out via a missed call (click here to call) or fill out this easy form to be contacted.

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