Telehealth and "routine" medical appointments
It’s hard to call anything "routine" anymore, but a lot of patients are reaching out to ask if they should keep their regular appointments while this health crisis is spreading throughout our communities The best advice is, it depends -- are you being seen regularly for cancer treatments, hormone issues, severe allergies? What about those worrisome digestive problems you are having? Those tests run on a routine basis to keep tabs on your cholesterol? The possible change your thyroid medication you may need?
Check with your doctor’s office or healthcare center’s website for more detailed information about their visit options. More and more offices and healthcare facilities around the country are changing their platform and rescheduling these appointments to telephone/video visits when appropriate.
Please remember if you, or a loved one, are not feeling well, it’s very important to contact your
doctor’s office for advice. Don’t feel like you have to manage on your own. One of the keys to our new normal is going to be triage -- that’s when you let your doctor know about any of your health concerns, and they decide the best place to help manage and treat those concerns. This might mean calling a prescription in to your local pharmacy, having you come in for a specific service like blood tests and IV’s or scheduling a video appointment.
What is Telehealth
“Telehealth” refers to the broad category of electronic telecommunications technologies, including things like smartphone apps. Additionally “telemedicine,” or video visits, are remote doctor-patient services, allowing you to receive health care and services from your provider who is in a different location.
Telehealth has expanded how patients can receive optimal care. Providers can see a patient in real time, face-to-face, and can read visual cues and ask the appropriate questions. For instance, using a video visit, a doctor can observe skin tone, gait or walk, rate of breathing and clarity of speech. Are you pale or breathing shallowly? Are you in bed or walking around while talking? Your doctor may also ask you to move your joints, assess pain in specific areas or move the camera to view your eyes, throat or skin rashes. Then, If needed, your doctor can send or call in a prescription to the pharmacy of your choice.
Right now, twenty-six states have laws that require private insurers to reimburse for services delivered through telemedicine. Additionally, because of the world situation and changing times more and more insurers are getting on board every day. If you have any questions contact your insurer for more details. Telemedicine can treat a whole range of issues and is a positive option to keeping you and your family healthy—safely and conveniently.
Telehealth and Coronavirus
If you do suspect you might have Coronavirus, where you are seen for it really depends on how sick you are. Should I call? Should I go in? Some people will be fine being tested and treated outside of the hospital, but others will need to be seen in the ER and may need to be hospitalized. It all depends on how severe your symptoms are. What is important is to let your doctor know if you do have symptoms. Additionally, if you have a fever and trouble breathing, it is very important you call your ER.
Maybe you don’t have any symptoms but may have been exposed. Perhaps you were sick recently and need to know if perhaps you have had the virus so you can address contact issues. Check with your doctor they may be able to assist you in locating your best testing options. Testing is another key. If we all work together in this time and going forward, we will be able to stay healthy and keep others in our community healthy as well.
For your convenience and assistance, telehealth appointments are now being scheduled with Integrative Medical Associates. Virtual appointments will allow you to continue receiving the best care—helping you manage certain conditions or symptoms you might be experiencing—without leaving home. Give us a call today to schedule 650-474-2130 option #4.
Be safe and be well.
Integrative Medical Associates