A Guide to Telemedicine

What’s Up, Doc? A Guide to Telemedicine

What Is Telemedicine?

Benefits of Telemedicine Telecommunications technology is expanding our healthcare options. Telemedicine allows you to receive medical advice from a healthcare provider anytime, from anywhere — and at a lower cost per visit. 94 – 99% reported being “very satisfied” with telemedicine, and one-third preferred a telemedicine visit to a traditional in-person visit.

A Guide to Telemedicine Blog Post

Patients’ Satisfaction with and Preference for Telehealth Visits

76% of patients say they care more about access to healthcare than having an in-person interaction with their doctors. $79: The average cost of a telemedicine visit. $146: The average cost of a doctor’s visit. $1,734: The cost of an average trip to the ER. Direct-to-consumer telehealth may increase access to care but does not decrease spending. Telemedicine allows you to discuss non-emergent medical issues and symptoms with your healthcare provider via mobile phone, video conferencing apps or medical devices.

Types of Telemedicine

  • Interactive medicine — Doctors and patients communicate in real time.
  • Remote monitoring — Caregivers monitor patients who use mobile medical equipment by capturing data on blood pressure, blood sugar levels and more.
  • Store and forward — Providers share patients’ health information with professionals or specialists in other locations.

Telemedicine Appointments – How to attend one?

  • Prepare — If your doctor offers telemedicine visits via HIPAA compliant, video conferencing or healthcare software, simply sign up, log in and follow the instructions to schedule your virtual visit.
  • Get started — Sit in front of a camera using a computer, smartphone or tablet so you can see and hear yourself and your healthcare provider.
  • Virtual visit — Show your doctor your rash, veins or injury, or have him show you how to use an inhaler.
  • Your provider asks you questions and you go from there — just like an in-person visit — and together, you come up with a plan of care.

Benefits of Telemedicine

  • Accessibility — Patients may not have easy access to doctors, particularly in rural areas.
  • Convenience — Patients can be “seen” from anywhere at any time, prescriptions can be sent immediately to a local pharmacy.
  • Time savings — Patients avoid waiting for an appointment, travelling to the doctor’s office, and waiting in the doctor’s office.
  • Money savings —Patients don’t have to leave work or pay for child care, and doctors don’t experience no-shows and cancellations.

When to Use Telemedicine

  • Minor urgent care (cold, flu, sore throat, vomiting, insect bites, rashes, etc.)
  • Low-level cases when healthcare resources are dedicated to disaster relief
  • Medication questions and/or prescription renewal
  • Post-surgical/hospital discharge follow-up
  • Management of chronic health conditions, such as vein disease or arthritis
  • Getting a second opinion based on test results
  • After-hours family and pediatric consultations

Graphic created by USA Vein Clinics, now offering telemedicine vein consultations.

• Meet the Author • Dr. Lawrence Kindo

I am a Medical Professional with a passion for writing, blogging, playing, computers, and of course patient care. My writing in this medical blog will reflect my passion, and you are welcome to be a part of this venture. This medical blog is a tribute to all the great medical pioneers, and to the ultimate source of wisdom, God.

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