Virtual or Telehealth doctor visits are an option for your future medical appointments. Doctors may communicate with you by video or telephone and conduct examinations from the comfort of your home. Telehealth is becoming increasingly common in hospitals and medical offices around the country, allowing patients to avoid unnecessary journeys outside their homes.
Telehealth is a critical component in the delivery of virtual healthcare. However, technology does not replace face-to-face consultations. It only allows for more contact between doctor and patient.
According to the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers, telecommunications-based health care, public health and health education delivery and assistance are all included in Telehealth.
Benefits of Telemedicine
- More convenient and accessible treatment
Telemedicine’s primary motivation is to provide patients with more convenient access to healthcare. When the health sector first established telemedicine in the United States, it was to help alleviate rural healthcare shortages. Since its inception in the 1990s, telemedicine has become ubiquitous, whether it is for delivering primary healthcare in third-world nations or the remote consultation of medical professionals for senior patients with mobility problems at home. In addition to breaking down geographic obstacles to healthcare access, telehealth virtual visits may make the overall healthcare delivery paradigm more accessible for the patients.
- Increasing the level of patient participation
The modern patient has high expectations for their healthcare experience because of the ever-increasing interconnectedness of our environment. Thanks to telemedicine, patients can communicate with their doctor more regularly and conveniently. More questions will be asked and answered, the doctor-patient connection will improve, and patients will feel more empowered to control their treatment.
- Better care for the patient
Providers may quickly check in with patients through telemedicine to ensure that everything is going according to plan and everyone is satisfied. Telemedicine improves patient outcomes by employing a more thorough remote patient monitoring system to monitor a patient’s heart or conducting a video chat to address prescription issues after a hospital release.
- Reduced healthcare expenditures
The United States spends more on healthcare than any other industrialized country ($2.9 trillion annually). Another $200 billion of those expenses are unneeded, wasteful expenditures. There are several ways in which telemedicine might reduce our healthcare costs, including prescription non-adherence and unnecessary emergency room visits.
Limitations of Telehealth
There are technological limits to telemedicine. Except for counseling or mental health sessions, all Telehealth visits involve video. Most doctors’ offices employ software or an app to conduct appointments for privacy reasons.
A computer or mobile phone with video and audio capabilities and the ability to download and utilize the essential software or program for a visit are required.
The most significant drawback of telemedicine is that physicians cannot do a traditional physical examination. Because of this, they cannot check for unusual sensations, such as hearing or vision impairments. They are also unable to feel lymph nodes and regions of swelling.
Preparation is essential for a Telehealth visit
To get the most out of a Telehealth appointment, you should prepare ahead of time. Your doctor’s office may ask you to provide them with information before your Session. Recent MRI images, tissue samples, or medical reports might be necessary for this collection.
Use this checklist before your visit to ensure that you are ready:
- Make sure your equipment is working correctly. Ensure that your video and audio are working correctly and that you have downloaded and are familiar with any applications.
- Make sure you have a power supply or a fully charged battery for your device.
- If you can, connect to the internet through a wired connection.
- Write down the phone number of the doctor’s office in case you lose your connection.
- Keep your device working more quickly and preserve your privacy by shutting off any apps that aren’t essential.
- Ensure that your insurance policy covers you.
- Look for a peaceful area with adjustable lighting and a lot of room to spread out in. Movements like walking or raising your arms are probable.
- Take time to compile a list of your prescriptions, including doses, frequency, and the location of each container.
- Ensure that your caregiver or a member of your family is present during the virtual visit. It’s advisable to have a second pair of ears, someone to take notes or hold the camera as you walk about, just like when you’re in person.
- Make a list of your questions and concerns, including any changes or new symptoms you’ve seen.
- There are several advantages to using virtual visits and their ease of use and effectiveness. If your doctor has access to this information when you meet them in person, you may be sure that your appointment will go well.
The Editorial Team at Lake Oconee Health is made up of skilled health and wellness writers and experts, led by Daniel Casciato who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We aim to provide our readers with valuable insights and guidance to help them lead healthier and happier lives.