The coronavirus pandemic is at the top of mind for everyone – especially for people with the highest risk of complications: those who have preexisting conditions or are over the age of 60. Just because everyone is staying home to avoid exposure to this virus doesn’t mean that healthcare access is limited. Telemedicine is the primary method of communication for patients and their healthcare providers right now.
How Does Telemedicine Work?
Telemedicine involves the use of technology so that patients can have digital conversations with healthcare providers. A smartphone or computer can be used with a video conference call, giving the patient the opportunity to see their doctor and talk in real-time.
A telemedicine appointment isn’t a substitution for certain testing services that need to be done in-office, at a lab, or at a drive-through testing site. But teleconferences with physicians, physician assistants (PAs), or nurse practitioners can address:
- Symptoms that may indicate COVID-19 and the need for testing
- Diagnosis of basic medical concerns
- Post-treatment follow-up appointments
- Management of chronic conditions
- Discussion about at-home care options, including home health and hospice care
- Prescription medication refills
If you suspect that you have coronavirus, then a phone conversation is recommended before visiting a medical office. This procedure helps to limit the risk of exposure to other patients and healthcare providers.
Is Telemedicine Right for You?
Keep in mind that these services are indicated for non-emergency medical concerns. If you need emergency support or have serious symptoms, then you should call 911. Many doctors are choosing to schedule non-urgent appointments at a future date after the COVID-19 social distancing measures are relaxed or eliminated..
Telemedicine is an important tool to minimize both patient and provider exposure to the virus while ensuring medical care is accessible. It is reassuring to older adults and famly caregivers to be able to talk to a doctor without leaving their homes. Rest assured knowing that the same levels of respect and privacy are maintained – including HIPPA privacy regulations.
Finding Telemedicine Services
Your current doctor might offer telemedicine services. Or, our team at Windward Life Care can help you find the right services if you need to teleconferences with physicians. Whether you are looking for immediate healthcare support, or you need assistance with long-term medical concerns, we can provide guidance and advocacy help. Call today to learn more about available services.