With cases of COVID-19 still on the rise in the US, most people are not venturing from home unless absolutely necessary. Telemedicine has risen to the top as an option for patients to retain important visits with their physicians, keeping their healthcare on track, while reducing risk of coronavirus transmission. Dr. Michael S. George of KSF Orthopaedic Center in Houston, Texas states “Telemedicine is a great option for patients particularly during this time when social distancing is so important.”
The main reason why people use telemedicine is for its convenience. You simply need to turn on your computer and attend your appointment in the comfort of your home. Another convenience benefit is you will not have to spend time in the waiting room. Many people feel discouraged from going to the doctor because of the hassle involved. Remote health care is encouraging more people to consult their doctors on even the smallest of health complications.
Better Health Care
With these services, more people are constantly keeping in touch with their doctors, and are, therefore, improving their routines and lifestyles. While not all exams can be fully completed in this manner, it helps keep communication between physician and patient open, and possibly prevent future urgent care needs.
“For bone and joint problems, telemedicine allows us to take a complete history and do a limited basic physical exam. We are able to import x-rays and MRIs into our computer system prior to the visit so we can show patients their imaging studies and discuss treatment options.”
Secure and Private
Most medical video conferencing platforms are HIPAA compliant, making it safe and secure for patients’ private health information. One unexpected benefit of telemedicine to doctors and patients is the increased honesty in patients. Research has shown that people are more honest and open with their doctors if they operate from familiar surroundings. Telemedicine physically separates the patient from the doctor, and this further enhances confidence.
No Travel Time Required
Right now social distancing is a main concern for both patients and physicians. Telemedicine is a great solution now, but has immense benefits when things return to normal. With busy work schedules, children in school, sports or other activities, it can be difficult to work in that much needed doctors visit. Telemedicine can be an excellent solution in most cases, eliminating the travel time to an office and avoiding lost work time. It is easy to schedule on a lunch break or in-between activities. “The telemedicine visit does limit the physical exam, and nothing is as effective as a face-to-face meeting, but it is a great option in the right situation.” says George.