Telemedicine services are gradually becoming more common across all healthcare sectors in Finland. Occupational health services and private sector service providers are actively developing telemedicine services, because these can be used to treat patients more efficiently, more easily and at a lower cost. Public sector service providers are, in turn, looking to relieve doctor shortages, as well as for the opportunity to provide medical services to remote areas.
As a healthcare service provider, would you like to give patients the opportunity to reach a doctor by phone or video link, perhaps from their own home? This might stop people travelling to doctors’ practices when ill and, where required, prescriptions could be sent electronically to a pharmacy.
The threshold for seeking treatment may also be reduced. From the perspective of organisations that have purchased occupational health services for their staff, telemedicine improves the availability of healthcare services, reduces staff travel time, and increases available working hours.
An attractive option, as long as the shared rules are clear. The calm and controlled progress of telemedicine is a prerequisite for ensuring patient safety, quality of service, as well as data protection and data security. As such, it is important to outline any symptom-based limitations to the new service, as well as where the patient and doctor may be during consultations. For example, is a summer house a suitable place for delivering telemedicine?