With the development of telehealth, patients are able to receive healthcare information and treatment from a variety of providers, all through digital communication. Telehealth is improving the accessibility of healthcare all over the world and it’s a rapidly growing industry in the medical field in the U.S. How can dental professionals get involved?
Access to Care and Teledentistry
By using telehealth in rural or underserved areas, doctors are delivering healthcare services virtually, which improves patient monitoring, communication and education. Physicians can consult and perform many of their services fully through telecommunication. In dentistry, treatment almost always requires the patient be physically present. It’s closest relative in medicine may be surgery! However, taking a tip from telehealth doctors, dentists can perform consultations and develop treatment plans virtually, then use teledentistry to also follow up with the patient to close the loop for treatment in office.
Increased Convenience & Flexibility
Physicians are getting involved with telehealth to make it easier for their patients to schedule time with them. Virtual doctor visits are becoming increasingly more popular, and for good reason—they are more convenient. Less travel time. No waiting in the waiting room. And for physicians it can mean having a consultation wherever they and an internet connection are. In a recent survey, 8 out of 10 patients said they would be open to non-conventional doctor visits.
Through live “synchronous” video consultations or “asynchronous” review of stored patient and exam data, dentists can be part of the telehealth transformation that means greater patient convenience and provider flexibility.
Medical doctors are increasingly looking at using telehealth as a means of earning additional income, part-time, full-time or on an as needed basis. You can imagine the perks of choosing to work via telehealth. You can set your own hours, be flexible with your time and work from the comfort of your home (or anywhere in the world really).
There are tons of apps now for doctors to connect virtually with patients and get paid for their clinical expertise. (Telehealth doctors are typically paid per patient consultation, so volume is key to earning more income.)
Using teledentistry to earn additional income as a dentist could be achieved by contacting hospitals, pediatricians, oncologists, or outreach programs (as a short set of examples) with an offer to provide the teledentistry services that can complete their patients’ healthcare encounters or are necessary for complex procedures that either involve maxillofacial procedures or monitoring of oral-systemic health. To do this effectively, you’ll want to be the one offering a seat to the referral partner on the teledentistry platform.
Why Explore Teledentistry?
Medical doctors are getting into telehealth for the same reason they got into healthcare in the first place—to use their training and clinical expertise to help people. Through dental telehealth technology, dentists, the new oral physicians, also are now able to also expand the reach and impact of their clinical skills, while potentially creating more flexibility and new income streams.