Do you know what telemedicine is? Chances are, you or a loved one will probably need a telemedicine appointment due to the current COVID-19 pandemic at some point in the near future. Telemedicine is medical attention or care delivered electronically. Instead of having to travel to a doctor’s office to meet them face-to-face, telemedicine allows you to get the care you need from the comfort of your home.
Telemedicine is done through a laptop, home computer, or a smartphone. It involves you using videoconference technology to see and communicate with your doctor. Every doctor who offers telemedicine services has slightly different ways of holding telemedicine appointments. For example, some doctors require you to download a specific app through which the doctor and you can communicate. Others may simply FaceTime or Skype with you, depending on the electronic device you have available.
How Does it Work?
If you owe a co-pay for a telemedicine appointment, you will pay for it prior to the appointment-time through the doctor’s support staff. Some doctors accept payments online while others can take the payment over the phone using a debit or credit card.
During your scheduled telemedicine appointment, your doctor will give you a videoconference call. You will discuss any symptoms you may be having, review the medications you are taking, and discuss your medical history (if necessary). Based on all of this information, your doctor will give you the necessary medical advice and may issue prescriptions. Once you are done with your appointment, the prescriptions will be sent electronically to your preferred pharmacy for processing.
Why Is Telemedicine Useful?
If anyone doubted the need for telemedicine before the COVID-19 pandemic, they have most likely changed their mind now. Telemedicine lets you get the medical care and advice you need from the comfort of your home. It not only saves you time, energy, and money (from traveling to and from the doctor’s office), it’s the preferred option in the current pandemic situation.
So, what about when we aren’t in a pandemic? Not everyone is able to travel for appointments. This includes people who can’t drive, those with disabilities, and those who simply do not have the time to make it to appointments due to other commitments. For such individuals, telemedicine is an ideal option.
There are a lot of healthcare needs that can be perfectly fulfilled through telemedicine. This includes check-ups on existing conditions (such as back pain or allergies), refilling or adjusting medications, and assessing whether a current treatment plan is working or not. It is also useful for other types of healthcare services, such as physical therapy. All of these needs don’t necessarily require you to be physically in the doctor’s office, so telemedicine is perfect for them.
When is Telemedicine Not Useful?
Telemedicine is useful for most patients, but in some situations, it is not appropriate. This includes emergency situations or when you are a new patient. It’s important to establish at least a short history of in-person visits before you begin telemedicine because your doctor should get to know you and examine you in person. When this is done, you can arrange videoconference appointments to discuss existing health issues. If you are having a health emergency, or if your doctor needs to perform diagnostic tests, you will need to go into the doctor’s office. You should discuss what your needs are with your doctor’s office prior to scheduling a telemedicine appointment.
Telemedicine Services in Fort Worth, Texas
If you are interested in learning more about telemedicine and whether it is a useful option for you, call Texas Medical Institute today. We offer telemedicine services to our patients and would love to discuss its benefits with you.
Make an appointment today by calling (817) 615-8633. You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you!