Virtual care services have been a boon to patients and providers alike. Virtual care boosted access to medical services and helped patients manage their symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, virtual care is often promoted as an innovative and effective way to deliver healthcare services. However, it’s also criticized for its lack of quality, its inability to deliver the same level of care as in-person visits, and its tendency to increase costs rather than reduce them.
In line with this, around 52% of Americans said they are likely to discontinue using telehealth channels in the post-pandemic era, as revealed by a study from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and The SCAN Foundation.
This figure does not mean that virtual care is failing in every instance or that it should be abandoned entirely. Instead, it means many patients and physicians believe that there are several conditions under which virtual care does not deliver results.
Virtual care does not deliver results in road accidents because virtual care isn’t real healthcare. Virtual care is nothing more than a simulation of care, and it can’t replace the real thing. This is especially true when you’re dealing with serious issues like injury or even death, and medical professionals are often faced with these situations on the road.
In case of accidents, virtual care can’t stop bleeding or treat injuries. It can only provide basic first-aid instructions and advice on how to contact emergency services. It’s also difficult to communicate with someone who’s unconscious or severely injured. Even if they’re conscious enough to respond verbally, it may be too difficult for them to communicate effectively using a phone or computer screen alone.
In short, virtual care doesn’t have all the tools necessary for saving lives in road accidents, especially when road accidents continue to rise. In recent years, many U.S. states like Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, and others are witnessing a rising number of road traffic accidents.
In Missouri, 1,007 people were killed in road traffic accidents in 2021, as revealed by the official data from the Missouri Department of Transportation. St. Louis, a major city in Missouri, is also not immune to these accidents.
This is due to its wide streets with an approved speed limit of 35 MH or higher. In the City of St. Louis, 40% of pedestrian crashes and 46% of pedestrian fatalities have occurred over the past five years on only nine roads.
When you’re injured in a car accident, it’s essential to contact an attorney. A St. Louis auto accident lawyer will also be able to help ensure that the insurance companies are providing adequate compensation for all medical bills and other expenses that arise from the accident.
Virtual care fails to deliver results in emergency care. The reason for this is that virtual care can only be effective when the patient has a good understanding of their condition and what they are dealing with. In an emergency situation, it is difficult to get detailed information about the condition and its treatment from a distance.
The challenges with virtual care become even more intense when countries like the U.S. are facing increasing emergency visits. In 2020, 18.6 million visits to the emergency room resulted in hospital admission, according to the CDC. That’s a lot of people who need to see a doctor right away, and when you’re dealing with an emergency, you want to be able to get help as soon as possible.
Emergency rooms are equipped to handle any medical problem that comes their way, from minor cuts to major trauma. Virtual care may be able to help with simple issues like colds and allergies, but if something more serious happens, you’ll want someone there who has experience dealing with emergencies.
Furthermore, when a person is in an emergency situation, they need immediate treatment. If they cannot get immediate treatment from a service provider, then they will have to go through traditional methods of getting help which could put them at risk for delays in treatment.
Complex Medical Cases That Can Only Be Diagnosed In-Person
Virtual care is an excellent option for many common conditions, but it fails to deliver results in complex medical cases that require an in-person diagnosis.
Moreover, many patients are also skeptical about the accuracy of diagnosis in virtual care. In fact, more than 40% of respondents expressed concern about being able to receive appropriate care or a diagnosis in a virtual environment, as revealed by a Telehealth survey report by Sykes.
For instance, a person might be experiencing heart disease symptoms without knowing it. A doctor could run some tests and conduct an ultrasound, but these can be misinterpreted in virtual settings. The patient could then end up being misdiagnosed with something else.
Another instance is when a patient needs surgery because of a chronic illness. Virtual care cannot help with this type of procedure because it requires surgeons with experience with the particular procedure and the equipment needed.
Virtual care is also unable to deal with complicated mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. This is because both require a professional therapist who knows how to interact with patients suffering from these disorders and how best to treat them without traumatizing them further.
The rise of virtual care has been undeniable. However, it is not without its limitations. The technology must be used in conjunction with traditional practices to ensure that patients receive the best care possible.
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