Can My Appointment Be Virtual?

Friendly patient waving to smiling doctor during a virtual visit.

Virtual visits or “Telehealth” have become a crucial part of our healthcare system. But how do you know if Telehealth is right for you? And when should you see your provider in person instead? We have created this basic guide that can help you decide if Telehealth is right for you or if you should see your provider in person instead.

Appointments Best for Telehealth

Mayo Clinic suggests that a virtual visit can work well for minor illnesses, check-ins for ongoing health problems, and to consult the best next steps for any non-emergencies. Consider scheduling a Telehealth appointment for the following appointment types:

  • Behavior health service appointments, such as therapy or counseling
  • Check up appointments for chronic care
  • Common cold or cough
  • Basic skin conditions, like rashes
  • Post-surgical follow up appointments
  • Prescription refills
  • A time to ask your provider any questions

Appointments Best for In-Person

Even if you are considering a virtual appointment, communication with your provider is important. Before making an appointment, call your doctor to review your options. Conditions that are not emergent could still require immediate in-person attention from a doctor.

In general, it is best to see your provider in person for the following appointment types:

  • Annual physicals/exams
  • Appointments that would require tests, blood work, or urine collection
  • Infections
  • X-rays
  • Respiratory infections
  • Cuts and burns
  • Sinus infection
  • Worsening sore throat
  • Worsening cold or fever

Telehealth is Not a Solution for Emergencies

Telehealth is not good for emergencies. Call 9-1-1 or visit your local emergency facility if you or someone you know is experiencing the following:

  • Chest pain, pressure in your chest, shortness of breath; any symptoms of a heart attack
  • Sudden numbness, weakness, confusion, loss of vision; any symptoms of a stroke
  • Significant injury
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heavy breathing
  • High fever
  • Possible broken bones

Telehealth is the future of our healthcare. However, in-person visits will also remain crucial. During the Coronavirus pandemic, if you are afraid of visiting your provider in person in fear of getting COVID-19; don’t be. Avoiding care could potentially lead to the onset of a serious medical condition or worsening of an existing one.

Reach out to your provider and understand the safety precautions that are being taken for in-person visits. And remember to follow best practices, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, before, during, and after an in-person appointment. Continuing your regular healthcare appointments is vital in maintaining good health. Don’t delay these appointments but do consider Telehealth as an option if you and your provider have decided it’s appropriate for you.

Have any questions about Telehealth? At YourTown Health, we’re proud to offer Telehealth solutions to new and existing patients. Contact a YourTown Health office location to ask about a convenient virtual visit and to speak with our dedicated staff.