- Telehealth to simplify is a remote healthcare service.
- Because of Covid-19 and stay at home instructions physicians used telehealth as a means to engage with their patients.
- One of the benefits of telehealth is the reduction of demands in patients in medical facilities.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation and the world, your family physicians were beginning to take advantage of the latest communication technologies to transform the way family medicine is practiced.
“Telehealth,” the broad term used to describe the way your doctors use technology to help you maintain your health from a distance, has taken on new prominence in the age of COVID.
It’s now possible to book and keep a doctor’s appointment without visiting the clinic or doctor’s office, simply by meeting with your health professionals right on your computer screen from home.
As we all work together to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and “flatten the curve” to protect hospital and medical capacity, increasing numbers of doctors and patients are finding telehealth to be a convenient and effective way to get together while maintaining “social distancing.”
After all, the countless health challenges that existed before the pandemic haven’t “gone out of business,” and there are many reasons to need to visit with your family doctor that have nothing to do with the virus.
And as more and more people get used to the convenience and efficacy of telehealth, these distance-treatment practices will likely continue to be part of the family medical landscape long after the COVID-19 pandemic has burned itself out.
Taking Advantage Of Telehealth Technology
So… how does telehealth work?
Your family medical clinic can help you get everything set up to make the most of this innovative new medical practice… and here’s what you can expect:
- As with your in-person doctor visits, you’ll need to fill out a questionnaire, to help your medical practitioners get quickly to your central health concerns. However, rather than using a clipboard on your lap in the waiting room, you’ll be sent an electronic questionnaire which you can fill out on your home computer at your convenience, on your schedule, any time before the appointment.
- You’ll need to download and familiarize yourself with the telehealth program your family physicians use (such as the popular and powerful DOXYme platform). Again, your family clinic will help you get started with the computer program, and help is always a phone call away.
- Your family clinic likely has a scheduling program on their website, which means you can simply sign on and select your appointment time from the available times on the site… a time convenient for your particular schedule, and which gives you plenty of time to complete your “homework.”
- In some telehealth applications, your family doctor will want to monitor your vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, respiration, etc.), and this can actually be done remotely using devices you can operate at home. Check with your clinic – they may be able to have devices shipped or delivered to you. Your family clinic can help you learn how to properly use these devices, and how to input the readings into the telehealth system (or transfer the readings directly into your computer for quick analysis by the doctor or physician’s assistant).
There may always be a need for in-person doctor’s visits under certain circumstances… but telehealth is likely here to stay. Patients and doctors alike will become accustomed to a whole new level of convenience and time-savings… and it could well be that many patients end up preferring this way of staying in touch with the family doctor. Check with your family clinic to see which telehealth options are available to you right now… and stay healthy!