The New Medicine
Healthcare provider visits in the Age of Covid-19
At a time when you may be hesitant to schedule an in-person medical visit due to Covid-19 surges and variants, being able to see your healthcare provider virtually from the safety of your own home, office, car or other space may be a good option.
Telemedicine uses technology for your healthcare provider visits, allowing you to practice social distancing. You, your provider and any other people you would normally have encountered in your provider’s office — including any medical or office personnel, other patients, and anyone you would have met in transit to and from your provider location — are protected from Covid-19.
When coming into contact with other people is decreased, you may be able to reduce the risks from Covid-19 and keep yourself, along with your family, healthy.
Technological options include using your smart phone, computer or any other forms of telecommunications technology — basically using any web browser access to the Internet — to allow you to check in with your provider, see and speak to each other and address your specific healthcare issues.
You can talk to your provider and/or use messaging while saving on travel time, waiting time and transportation expenses.
Knowing Whether Telemedicine Is the Right Fit for You
Depending on the state of your health — and the nature of your particular visit or condition — telemedicine may be appropriate for you.
Among the services you can receive are general and routine healthcare, medication management, help with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, allergies, asthma and arthritis, coughs and colds, nutrition counseling and prescriptions.
Your provider may be able to virtually see conditions such as rashes, conjunctivitis, inflammation, wounds, bruises and cuts — or may ask for an in-person visit.
When In-Person Provider Visits Are Necessary
Your provider may need to see you in person for neurological or cardiological symptoms or a dental emergency. For chest pain, signs of a stroke or a heart attack, shortness of breath, head or neck injuries, or any other emergency, you will need to go to an emergency department without delay.
A Matter of Convenience
Telemedicine can be a major convenience if you are on vacation, on a business trip, traveling unavoidably, outside of business hours, or at home with a sick child or other family member.
With the benefits offered by virtual healthcare visits, some patients who may not have bothered to contact a provider and show up for a scheduled in-person appointment previously, might actually consult with their provider now and benefit from an important, life-changing diagnosis — simply because it is convenient.