Offshore operations are among the industries that have the most to gain from modern innovations in telemedicine. Many offshore workers are hundreds of miles from a proper medical facility, which only emphasizes the risks associated with drilling and extraction processes. In physically and mentally demanding environments, workers need access to the best healthcare possible to ensure safe and responsible operations.
Since it’s not practical for licensed physicians to be present at every remote site, conventional practice usually provides for a nurse or trained staff member to handle medical emergencies. While this was a necessary compromise, employers now have another option: telemedicine.
Benefits for Workers
Offshore workers are exposed to physically dangerous situations, with serious traumas creating a risk of internal bleeding and broken bones. They can also experience unrelated medical emergencies, like a heart attack or stroke, that puts their life in danger due to their distance from medical facilities. Incorporating telemedicine into offshore operations can mitigate some of these risks and help on-site personnel address life-threatening emergencies. Along with physical ailments, telemedicine specialists can help provide much-needed mental health care, improving worker morale while helping to avoid fatal injury.
Before the advent of telemedicine, remote workers had to rely on verbal communication to express symptoms or ailments over a phone line. Modern technology allows for video and image transmission, either streamed live or stored in digital message. This allows the receiving physician to assess the situation and make observations the patient may have missed. Facilities equipped with health monitoring technology, like x-ray machines, can also send this information along to speed diagnostics.
Access to Specialists
The other key health benefit of telemedicine is access to specialized services. Integration of mobile and internet technology into medicine gives individual patients unprecedented access to medical experts from across the country. Rather than rely on the knowledge of a single general physician or on-site medical assistant, employees can connect with doctors who can provide detailed insight based on their niche expertise.
Value for Employers
Integrating telemedicine often requires an initial investment and transition period, but incorporating these services has several distinct benefits for employers as well. Companies operating offshore sites can use these services to bolster compliance efforts, reduce administrative burdens and improve cost-efficiency.
Telemedicine is not only an opportunity to improve care for workers, it’s also an opportunity to develop cost-effective solutions. Improved diagnostics and remote aid helps minimize unnecessary evacuations, which would otherwise be necessary to determine the extent of the condition. Prompt and effective treatment promotes a healthier workforce, which helps reduce absenteeism and mistakes on the job.
Legal and Administrative Benefits
Companies that incorporate established telemedicine services, like those offered by Pharma-Safe Industrial Services, can also leverage their expertise to ensure compliance. Experts in health and safety services can offer current insight on local and national requirements, which helps companies avoid legal trouble in the future. Incorporating services from a third-party provider also eases the administrative burden on company leadership, allowing them to focus their time and resources on what they do best.
Partner With a Trusted Telemedicine Specialist
Rig crews and offshore energy workers struggle to get adequate medical care in a timely manner due to remote locations and unfavorable weather conditions. When injured workers can’t be extracted in time, remote paramedic services can be the difference between life and death. Pharma-Safe offers skilled remote telemedicine services, like EMTs and paramedics, that delivers a full suite of advanced life support skills and trauma management. Contact us today to learn how our team can assist you.