If you pay regular visits to the doctor’s office, you’re able to detect health conditions and diseases ahead of time. At present, it’s relatively safe to seek medical attention at a clinic or hospital, regardless of the reason. But is it really a good idea to see the doctor for routine or non-emergency care? Not exactly. Even if the risk of catching the deadly virus at a check-up is low, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Schedule a virtual visit. A great many doctor’s offices are making available telemedicine – in other words, online appointments – to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
Physicians have concluded that telecommunications technology helps them provide patients much-needed care while practicing social distancing. Even those who haven’t grown up with cool technology are taking time to master computers, smartphones, and tablets. As you’ve probably noticed, there’s a new virus around that has catastrophic effects. Talking about the risks is in vain because we all know what to expect.
If you have concerns about visiting your doctor’s office, don’t leave home
SARS-CoV-2 spreads at an alarming rate, popping up in disparate places. If the number of infectious cases has increased significantly in your area and you’re not sure that it’s such a good idea to pay the doctor a visit, then stay home. You don’t have to travel around to get the care you need. Avoid contact with healthcare facilities, other patients, and staff to reduce the risk of getting the coronavirus and spreading it to your family and friends.
While a relatively new concept, telemedicine is gaining momentum in the content of the global pandemic. To put it simply, telemedicine refers to the use of electronic information and telecommunications technology (phone, computer, etc.) to provide remote clinical services. It’s impossible to predict to what extent telemedicine will be used once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, but experts are confident that it will continue to grow. Consumers will make greater use of virtual appointments.
MarketWatch informs us that before the health crisis began only 10% of Americans had used telemedicine. Now, it’s a completely different story. As the deadly virus has started to spread across the United States, roughly 70% of patients have embraced telemedicine, half of them already having experience with virtual appointments. Many say that telemedicine was on the rise before the global health crisis. Anyway, it seems that people are prepared for the virtual revolution. What about you? A telemedicine appointment is just like a regular one.
So, what exactly are the benefits of telemedicine for patients?
Waiting too long to seek medical attention for certain conditions can be dangerous. If you genuinely have a health concern, don’t hesitate to embrace telemedicine. Request a visit and the physician will immediately schedule a visit. If you reach out to a different doctor, make sure to provide enough information if you’re experiencing a medical issue or change in your health. You can see the doctor over a video conference on the tablet or smartphone. You can get a video consultation via Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, you name it. Just so you know, health care providers are flexible as far as digital platforms are concerned.
Let’s take a close look at the main benefits of telemedicine for patients:
You don’t waste time traveling to and from the doctor’s office
Sometimes, it’s impossible to travel because of extreme weather conditions or lack of public transportation. So, what do you do if you need to go to a specialized physician? You schedule a virtual consultation, of course. You can see the doctor on any Internet-connected device, so you don’t need to travel. Telemedicine is capable of breaking geographical barriers to care access, making everything much more convenient for patients. It’s not location dependent, so you can find adequate care even If you live in a rural area.
You don’t need to take time off work at a short notice
Your employer can give you time off work to go to the doctor, but you’ll have to work the time back or take it as unpaid leave. Online consultations eliminate the need to take a leave of absence. You can schedule the appointment during one of your lunch breaks. You just need to identify a place that guarantees you won’t be disturbed during the check-up. Go for a virtual consultation and save time. Patients can consult a physician anytime 24/7, so you don’t have to stick around to get an appointment with a doctor.
You don’t have to look for a babysitter
If you’re a parent, you can’t leave the kids all alone at home because they risk harming themselves. Someone needs to watch the youngsters. Finding a babysitter is not only difficult but also expensive. Don’t reschedule medical care, especially if you have a chronic condition. Scheduling a telemedicine appointment will allow you to meet your family responsibilities. Summarize what’s going on with you in one or two sentences. Whether or not you’ll receive a copy for the consultation depends on its duration and your health insurance.
How to prepare for your first telemedicine appointment
Telemedicine can be used for mental health too, helping many patients move forward with their psychiatric appointments. Taking advantage of telemedicine services is relatively easy. Request an online appointment and the healthcare provider will send you an email with a unique link to join a virtual meeting. You’ll also receive reminders prior to the start of the appointment. Prepare for the online consultation ahead of time. Write down troubling symptoms and make a list of questions you’d like answered. It’s recommended to take note of every direction or treatment the doctor shares.
At times, an office visit is necessary. In this case, you need to take precautions to reduce the chances of getting COVID-19. Wear personal protective equipment, practice good hand hygiene, minimize physical contact, and respect social distancing guidelines. As mentioned earlier, the doctor’s office is still open for business. In certain scenarios, it’s necessary to consult patients in-person and check their vital signs. If you’re dealing with an emergency, don’t put it on hold.