Before you make that telehealth call, you need to consider some important factors first. Do you have the right tools? Is your video call secure and reliable? What about privacy and confidentiality? Is telemedicine covered by your health insurance? These are some of the things you need to sort of first!
Not only has the latest coronavirus pandemic affected the way people communicate with family members, business associates, friends and employers, but it has also changed the way individuals access healthcare and treatment. Fortunately, technology is beginning to close the gap with which people access the medical treatment they require.
Most apps that enable physicians to communicate with patients need access to laptops, iPads, mobile devices, and strong internet connections. With that in mind, here are five things to remember when deciding whether a telehealth call experience is going to work well for you.
4 Ways To Know If Telehealth Care Is Right For You
1. Appointment or Video call?
Although a telehealth call may theoretically minimize both you and your doctor’s risk of contracting diseases like COVID-19, it could also be necessary to make an in-person appointment based on your needs. So, how can you decide whether you require a video call or an appointment? According to Mayo Clinic, most telehealth calls will cover a large variety of small to moderate client needs. These needs that can be covered by telehealth call are:
- Prenatal Evaluations
- Counselling and telehealth occupational therapy
- Quick Diagnosis for sinus infections or rashes
- Diabetes Management
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Emergency treatment needs urgent medical attention. A video call will also not be appropriate. According to the president of the American Academy of Family Doctors, Dr. Gary Grey, patients can be offered timely medical attention whenever they feel like they can’t wait.
2. Is Your Telehealth Call Covered by Health Insurance?
Since video health appointments are very new to the market, you might want to consult with your insurance company to see if the telehealth call is protected. Insurance packages are different, and even though the existing program does not involve virtual therapy, many providers are creating telehealth access to individuals and families.
However, a new law in the U.S. has waived limitations on telemedicine to expand patient access to medical attention and treatments.
3. Do You Have the Right Technology?
The advantages of telehealth call and online tests are maximized as you plan for your online consultation in advance. Because a video chat is close to an in-person experience, to get the best out of your appointment, you can make sure that all of the equipment is functioning properly.
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Many private clinics and hospitals provide personalized apps that you may need to transfer on your computer or mobile device prior to your telehealth call. A webcam is often an integral aspect of your video appointment. If your camera doesn’t function properly, you’ll need to find some other alternative.
It’s also usually a smart idea to use a private location in your home so that your conversation won’t be disturbed.
4. Is Your Video Appointments Secure?
Health documents and visits are usually quite safe, including online. Hospitals and medical practices across the world go a long way to keeping medical records confidential and secure. Emails, screen-sharing and other operations must be secured, which ensures that they are safe and stable. You would definitely need a password to launch your online session.
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If you or someone you know is at high risk of contracting diseases like COVID-19, arranging an online consultation via a telehealth call might be a smart idea.
Before you contact a healthcare professional, make sure that your health insurance covers the request and that the conditions do not require an in-person appointment. It is also important to have well-functioning equipment, privacy, secure and reliable internet connection.