4 Benefits of Telemedicine
July 6, 2022
Are Video Visits with Your Doctor Right for You?
The internet and smart phones are transforming how patients get medical care.
Doctors began to use telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people worried about getting infected, and many schools and businesses suspended in-person activities.
Now, virtual visits (seeing a doctor via video streaming services or by phone) have become part of our lives. Streaming technology has been used to teach classes, conduct business, and connect loved ones. It only makes sense to take advantage of this technology to access medical care.
Benefits of Telemedicine
Though pandemic lockdowns have ended, telemedicine is here to stay because it’s proven to be so useful. There are four reasons to visit your doctor virtually:
- It’s convenient. A telemedicine visit does not require you to travel to and from a doctor’s office or sit in a waiting room. It gives you a chance to have a focused, one-on-one visit with your doctor.
- It’s cheaper. You don’t need to worry about the cost of traveling to and from the doctor’s office. You don’t need to pay for gas, public transportation, or parking.
- It provides quicker access to care. Getting a doctor’s appointment can take weeks or months. But many doctors have reserved part of their schedules for telemedicine visits. Scheduling a video or phone appointment often gets you the help you need faster.
- It’s secure and private. Technology used for telemedicine appointments is designed to be secure and it protects patient privacy. Plus, that technology ensures patients get their doctors’ undivided attention.
Telemedicine is Great for Most Visits
Virtual visits are not the best option if you need a physical examination or procedure. For example, it’s hard to assess a new lump via video, and a catheter cannot be exchanged virtually. However, telemedicine is great for most situations that would send you to the doctor:
- Diagnosing a health concern. While telemedicine does not allow a doctor to do a physical exam, it does permit the doctor to discuss your symptoms and prescribe a treatment.
- Prescription refill. Many patients who require maintenance medications for illnesses like high blood pressure must periodically see a doctor to confirm the dosage is right. Those visits can typically be done virtually.
- Answering medical questions. If you need a quick answer to a question about your health or prescription, you’ll usually get access to a doctor a lot faster via telemedicine.
- Follow-up visits. After surgery or medical treatment, doctors typically want to see their patients for a follow-up visit where the doctor checks on the patient’s progress. Those visits can be done easily online or by phone.
- Managing chronic conditions. If you have a chronic condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, or a heart condition, doctors expect to see you on a regular schedule to monitor and manage your health. These routine visits can easily be done virtually.
- Getting referrals. Traditionally, patients need to visit a doctor to get a referral to a specialist. Telemedicine makes those referrals more convenient for patients.
Preparing for Your Telehealth Visit
There are steps you can take to get the most out of your virtual visit.
- Test technology in advance. You will need a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer for a telehealth visit and steady connection to the internet to stream video. Check your signal. Make sure this place has a strong Wi-Fi signal. And if you are using a smartphone or tablet, make sure your device is fully charged and you have bars!
- Pretend you’re in-person. Make sure to have your prescriptions handy so you can review your medications with your provider.
- Set the scene. Being able to have a clear conversation with your provider about your health is important. Select a place that is private, well-lit, and away from distractions, so you and your provider can consult as you would in an exam room. Avoid using crowded places and don’t multitask while you’re on your visit.
- Ask questions. Don’t be shy in front of the camera, this is your time with your provider. Ask questions and repeat what you hear to be sure you understand next steps.
Get the Care You Need
Grady offers virtual visits in most clinics. A virtual visit allows you and your family to have a secure, live-video appointment from the comfort of your home. The best part is you receive the same quality care as an in-person visit.
The scheduling team will cover everything you need to get ready for your video visit. You need a smartphone, tablet, or computer and an active MyChart account. If you are ready to virtually see your doctor, call us at (404) 616-1000 to get started.