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.
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.