Everything You Need to Know About Telehealth

Over the last 2 years, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed nearly every facet of life in the US. You know that all too well if you’ve been impacted by travel restrictions, faced changes to your employment or endured financial struggles.

The healthcare industry has changed dramatically as well, with virtual doctor visits becoming a big part of the new normal. In fact, telehealth practices increased a staggering 154% from March of 2019 to March 2020 as doctors and patients scrambled to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus on their patients’ everyday health. With the Delta variant causing a sharp uptick in cases, illnesses and death, restrictions are likely to get tighter in the near future.

Luckily, it has never been easier to keep your healthcare routine even if you can’t make it to the office. Advancements in commonly-used technology can keep your close, personal relationship with your primary care physician intact. If you’re confused or apprehensive about utilizing this technology, this article is for you! Read on to better understand telehealth options and how you can use them to stay healthy in 2021 and beyond.

What is telehealth?

Telehealth is defined as “the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.” Essentially, it’s using video conferencing to virtually visit with a healthcare provider, who can then provide the same type of medical services a patient would receive in office.  

What are the benefits? 

The benefits are substantial, especially for senior citizens. Obviously, a big advantage is lessening the chances of spreading or contracting the coronavirus, which can circulate with ease in a crowded waiting room.  Aside from that, telehealth options are far more convenient than driving into an office, particularly for seniors who may not have a ride readily available.

What are the disadvantages?

As with any shift in lifestyle, there are always bound to be a few drawbacks. One of those would simply be a lack of access to the technology necessary to conduct these visits. Of course, if you do have access to those tools, you will still need to understand how they work in order to be effective. A great guide can be found here, courtesy of AARP.  

Telehealth Tips

Here are some quick and easy steps you can follow to ensure a smooth virtual visit!

  • Check your device: whether you use your phone, tablet, or computer, we recommend checking the functionality beforehand (sound and video). If you were sent any URL’s to click on, you can also test those links to ensure they bring up your internet browser. If you encounter issues at the time of your appointment, you’ll most likely have to reschedule for another day.
  • Make sure your device is fully charged, and you have a stable wi-fi connection.
  • Find a quiet, well-lit area to take the call so your doctor can see and hear you clearly.
  • You may want to jot down some notes, such as any symptoms you are experiencing, any preexisting conditions you have and a list of medications you are currently taking. Make sure you include any questions you have leading up to your appointment so you don’t forget.

We all hope that the impact of the coronavirus fades as time goes on, but regardless there’s a strong likelihood that telehealth options will continue to soar in usage and popularity. We hope this article helps you take advantage of today’s technology to stay safe and healthy!

Do you have any tips or experiences with telehealth that you would like to share? Let us know in the comments!