If you’re a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, certified registered nurse anesthetist, or certified nurse midwife, you may have considered delivering healthcare services virtually, especially during this time. Current opportunities for APPs to practice telemedicine abound, and positions cover the spectrum of care, from general practice to highly specialized services.
For those considering a transition to virtual practice, here’s a look at the benefits, methods, and demand for virtual services – followed by one way APPs can smoothly transition to telemedicine.
Benefits of Telemedicine for Advanced Practitioners
Telemedicine can pay off for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other advanced practice providers. APPs who practice virtually:
- Enjoy working from home
- Have a flexible work schedule
- Avoid stressful traffic and travel time
- Earn competitive compensation
- Reduce their exposure to COVID and other pathogens
- Care for underserved patients they otherwise might not be able to reach
- Reduce stress and avoid burnout, with fewer immediate distractions and demands
- Can learn new technology skills and strengthen their “webside manner”
- Expand their resume and appeal to more healthcare organizations
- Enjoy enhanced communication and patient relationships and improved patient compliance
Advanced Practitioners Are Making a Difference Through Telemedicine
A recent article published in The Nurse Practitioner cites examples of the various ways advanced practice providers are expanding healthcare via telemedicine. Through telehealth, advanced practitioners can:
- Evaluate patient health using remote patient monitoring (RPM), in which patients use medical devices, smartphone apps, images, and/or questionnaires at home to measure glucose levels, vital signs, heart rhythm, daily weight, physical activity, and behavioral health.
- Access patients who are home-bound, located in remote areas, or residing in long-term healthcare facilities.
- Help patients manage chronic conditions like heart disease, COPD, diabetes, and asthma remotely, avoiding increased risks of exposure to COVID and reducing demand on hospitals dealing with patient surges.
- Ease burdens on emergency departments via tele-triage, answering low-acuity patient concerns over the phone and providing healthcare advice for emerging symptoms.
- Fulfill onsite provider shortages by providing healthcare services from remote locations.
- Deliver targeted care across various specialties, including wound management, dermatology, ophthalmology, neurology, and psychiatry.
- Provide follow-up care, ensuring patients understand their diagnosis, treatment plan, and medications.
An Increased Demand for Telemedicine
When COVID-19 cases first spiked in the U.S., the demand for virtual office visits and outpatient care increased by 78 times baseline numbers, according to McKinsey & Company. Telehealth usage has now stabilized but remains high, at 38 times that of pre-COVID demand. Further, McKinsey research shows the desire for telemedicine services is not expected to wane due to several changes in the delivery of virtual care:
- Improved patient and provider attitudes toward telemedicine
- Better technology and digital security
- Permanent regulatory changes that support telehealth
- Expansion of CMS reimbursable health codes
- Integration of telehealth with other virtual solutions
- Improvements in consumer experience, outcomes, access, and affordabilit
Transitioning to Telemedicine
Providers who have spent years practicing on site at hospitals, physicians’ offices, care centers, or other healthcare locations may feel apprehensive about shifting to telemedicine. If you’re hesitant to make the leap, one idea is to take a short-term locums telehealth assignment. That way, you can discover whether you prefer telemedicine without the pressure making of a permanent commitment.
Working with a recruiter who is skilled in placing APPs in telemedicine roles can save you valuable time and resources. Plus, it can make the hunt for your next position rewarding and exciting!
Find out how our team of staffing experts can help you embark on your next telemedicine career adventure.