With the pandemic of introducing the concept of telehealth into our lives, the idea of consulting a doctor through a computer or smartphone is still intimidating for many. With constant changes happening and new services to learn, it can be overwhelming for a patient to appear for his/ her first telehealth primary care appointment. However, the recent developments and advanced technology have only simplified the entire system of telehealthcare.
Telehealth is a lot easier than visiting your doctor physically. However, your choice of service provider can make all the difference in experiencing the benefits of telemedicine services. Here’s what you need to know before booking your first appointment:
SET UP AN APPOINTMENT WITH A PROVIDER WHO HAS A TELEHEALTH SYSTEM IN PLACE
In simplest terms, telemedicine is a patient chatting with his/ her doctor over a video call. However, setting up appointments over platforms like facetime, skype and zoom might not be safe (although they have been temporary approval for the time being). Public platforms like TikTok or Facebook Live are to be strictly avoided. Since these portals take away from the privacy layer, it’s better to look for a service provider who has a reliable telehealth system in place.
IT IS MORE THAN VIDEO VISITS
Although most people might think that telehealth is just video visits, it is much more than that. Telehealth can be asynchronous as well (not real-time). A few examples of this type of consultation include:
● Online health reports and charts
● Emergency e-visits where you fill out a questionnaire and receive treatment within a short period
● Remote patient monitoring is where a healthcare provider guides a patient to assess his/ her health through tools, and wearable heart monitors possessed by the patient or provided by the professional
● Mobile health assessments (including MyFitnessPal app or FitBit tracker) which may be supported by your doctor or initiated by you
IT IS A BROAD TERM THAT INCLUDES TELEMEDICINE
Telehealth and telemedicine are often used interchangeably. Both words bring virtual care to our minds. However, there are a few key demarcation points:
➔ Telehealth is a broad term that includes telemedicine while incorporating electronic services and communications beyond clinical care. This includes therapy, online video consultations, patient education videos, and other general health services.
➔ Telemedicine is a specific term that refers to the practice of health care professionals and medical practitioners to deliver care at a distance (also referred to as remote clinical services). For instance, when you do a virtual visit with your doctor, it’s telemedicine while watching patient education videos falls under telehealth.
Based on the type of your health requirement, you will need to consult your professional regarding the availability of services.
VIRTUAL APPOINTMENTS MAKE CONSULTATIONS EASY FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT VISIT
This goes without saying that virtual consultations make quality healthcare accessible to those who cannot physically visit a doctor. Although telehealth is an invention of the 2020 pandemic, this innovation diluted access barriers to quality professionals all around. And, obviously, it tremendously helps in controlling the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.
Telehealth is a versatile portal that is for everyone. While accepting almost all insurance plans, telehealth improves access and strengthens the patient-professional connection while fostering a bond of trust and reliance. For more information about telemedicine services at OM Primary Care, browse our website today!