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Can My Appointment Be Virtual?

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.

How Telehealth Is Fighting Against the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted our lives in ways we could never imagine. The same is true for the healthcare industry. One of the many challenges our industry has faced is continuing regular, in-person care for patients. Virtual visits or “Telehealth” have become a great solution for this. Although Telehealth services have been around for many years, the rise in popularity began at the start of the pandemic. In fact, it has now become the norm for healthcare providers to offer these services to patients.

Although there is value in seeing your provider in person, during the Coronavirus pandemic, Telehealth has become beneficial in fighting against the virus. Want to learn more? Continue reading below.

Allows More Patients to Be Seen

Telehealth allows for more patients to be seen, as the visits are completed more efficiently online or over the phone; saving both the physician and the patient time.

Prevents the Spread of COVID-19

With Telehealth, fewer patients are physically coming into the office for their visit. Therefore, preventing any spread of COVID-19 that might happen during their travel or time in the office. Fewer patients coming to the office means:

  • Fewer people in the waiting room. Telehealth is a great way for patients to stay in contact with their providers while staying safe.
  • Less face-to-face interaction between doctor and patients; protecting both the provider and patient.
  • Easier ability to keep six feet apart.
  • Allows more time to properly clean and sanitize the office.

We need to embrace Telehealth today, so we can continue to do all that is necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring our patients that need to be seen in person, can do so safely. It’s all about protecting ourselves and each other.

Do you have any questions about how Telehealth is fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic? At YourTown Health, we are proud to offer Telehealth solutions to new and existing patients. Contact a YourTown Health office location to ask about a convenient virtual visit or to speak with our dedicated staff.

How Telehealth Appointments Work

Telehealth is a great resource to use during the current COVID-19 pandemic and for appointments that might not require in-person examinations by your provider. 

Now that telehealth is more popular than ever, it’s good to familiarize yourself with the process and understand what happens during these virtual visits. This can lead to a more successful appointment!

Keep reading below to learn how telehealth appointments work. 

How Telehealth Appointments Work

Different healthcare practices have different processes for scheduling and administering a virtual visit. Generally, here’s what you can expect:

  • You will schedule your virtual visit appointment through a provider’s office.
  • Once your appointment has been scheduled, you’ll be provided with instructions on how to join your virtual visit. At the time of your appointment, you’ll enter a virtual waiting room.
  • Once the physician is ready, you’ll be “let into” the appointment.
  • Just like an in-person appointment, you will have plenty of time to speak with your physician during the virtual visit. 

How Telehealth Appointments Work At YourTown Health

At YourTown Health, we are proud to offer Telehealth solutions to new and existing patients. Our process for making an appointment may look a little different, but are easy to schedule:

  • Call a YourTown Health office location to make an appointment as you usually do.
  • Let the scheduler know that you’re interested in a virtual visit. If your visit requires that you see a provider in person, we will schedule you for an in-office visit appointment.
  • We’ll give you instructions on how to join your virtual telehealth appointment or how we will safely provide in-person care. 

What to Expect During a Telehealth Appointment

There is not much difference between telehealth appointments and in-person visits, except that the physician cannot physically examine you. During a telehealth appointment, you can still expect to discuss your medical history and lab results, present any concerns, ask questions, and even have prescriptions prescribed or filled. 

When Should You Not Use Telehealth?

Depending on the nature of your visit, your provider may decide whether an in-person or telehealth visit is appropriate for you. In general, telehealth appointments are not good for emergencies. For example, heart attack, stroke, lacerations, severe pain, difficulty breathing, or potential broken bones. For these situations, please call 9-1-1 or visit a local emergency facility. 

Contact a YourTown Health office location to ask about a convenient virtual visit.

The Benefits of Telehealth

To keep healthcare visits convenient and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual appointments conducted over phone or video (also known as “telehealth” or “telemedicine”) have been an important tool for patients and physicians. 

These virtual visits allow patients to receive important, often time-sensitive healthcare while minimizing exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Beyond its benefits during the pandemic, telehealth has made certain medical services more accessible, convenient, and affordable for patient’s long term. For that reason, telehealth solutions are here to stay. 

Interested in learning more? Keep reading to explore the benefits of telehealth. 

Increases Comfort and Convenience

When you take away the pressure of commuting to a healthcare appointment—especially when it involves taking a lot of time off work or finding childcare—scheduling telehealth appointments become more manageable with a busy schedule. Instead of driving across town to your appointment, which can take a few hours out of your day, your healthcare appointment is only a click or phone call away. Also, with telehealth, you do not need to drive great distances to your physician’s office or clinic or sit in a busy waiting room. Instead, your healthcare visit can be done from the comfort of your home. 

Reduces Anxiety or Fear of Doctors’ Offices

“Iatrophobia” is the fear of visiting the doctor, and affects about 3 percent of the population — triggered by a fear of getting bad news, according to Dr. Barbara Cox in an article for NBC News. 

Even patients without Iatrophobia can experience some anxiety and fear related to visiting doctor’s offices or when in medical environments. Individuals in both of these situations can find solace in telehealth solutions, where they can stay in a familiar, comfortable environment (often their home) while still receiving quality healthcare. 

Allows More Patients to Be Seen

Because telehealth visits offer greater convenience, they can often be less time consuming for both parties—patients and physicians. As patients continue to use these telehealth services, physicians can see more patients, both virtually and in-person. This has been especially beneficial during the pandemic, allowing the patients in need of in-person appointments to be seen more quickly and on shorter notices. 

Stops the Spread of Diseases

Although telehealth solutions have been around for several years, the global COVID-19 pandemic brought greater demand for these services. Knowing that physical distance (social distancing) and isolation helped slow the spread of the virus and ensured patient and staff safety, many healthcare facilities started offering telehealth services. As practices routed appointments that didn’t require an in-person examination to telehealth visits, in turn, allowed for more in-person visits for patients that required them.

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.

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