Coronavirus continues to keep people at home, but there are a number of people who need to see their healthcare providers. And, in fact, many of these people are also at high risk for COVID-19 complications. But healthcare providers are nothing if not savvy and they're responding in new and interesting ways that may change our healthcare practices for years to come (or forever).
Being able to stay home and still see the doctor is becoming one of the most innovative changes in wrought by Coronavirus. It’s helping patients with existing or developing health conditions get diagnosis and treatment without exposing them to COVID-19 by visiting the medical facility. The possibility of exposure has kept may patients home, and prevented them from seeking or continuing care. But with telehealth options now widely available, standard medical care can resume, at least on some level, and patients are all the better for it.
Anyone who needs medical treatment should avoid putting it off. Some medical conditions can become big problems if left untreated. And reaching out to a healthcare provider who provides telemedicine appointments is a good way to get started on a diagnosis and treatment plan. Some patients will still need in-person care or exams, but more than we might think can actually be handled via telemedicine quite handily.
Appointments are typically conducted via a secure line provided by the medical facility. The patient can expect to receive a link and instructions, usually via email. Older patients may need assistance, but coaching is typically available via phone as well so don't hesitate to call and ask for help. A computer or phone with a camera and access to wifi is typically all that's required. Appointments are often as long as the usual office visit but without the commute. As in an office visit, the doctor will ask questions. Of course, the usual vitals aren't taken so much is still missing in the system, but improvements are happening every day and soon e expect tat even these hurdles will be overcome.
Telemedicine can help reduce the spread of this virus but perhaps it can also help people to alleviate their worries if they've been sick and afraid to go in to visit a doctor. By allowing patients to see healthcare providers without leaving the house, they're less likely to get sick or to spread the virus. So if you've been putting it off, we'd encourage you to reach out and seek the treatment you need to keep a minor problem from becoming something more serious while reducing the risk of infection at the same time.