When a traditional office visit with a physician is difficult to arrange, telehealth connects patients to essential healthcare services through video conferencing, electric consults, remote monitoring, and wireless communications. Physicians use telehealth technologies to provide quality healthcare even from a distance. This method of delivering health-related services offers physicians a way to connect with patients who cannot physically attend appointments.
Telehealth is available at A Personal Physician in Vista and the surrounding area. If you cannot attend an in-person appointment, telehealth services may be the right solution for you. Call us at 760-940-7000 to schedule a virtual appointment or learn more about this service.
History of Telehealth
Although telehealth seems relatively new, it has existed for longer than most people think. This form of healthcare started around the first half of the 20th century and became popular in rural and urban communities. Early utilization includes the first transfer of electronic medical records in the 1940s and the first video communication for medical purposes in 1959.
Today, telehealth is transforming the healthcare system. A study by McKinsey & Company shows a shift from 2019, with only 11% of U.S. consumers using telehealth, to 2020, with 76% of survey respondents indicating they were likely to use such services in the future. Advancements in telecommunications and information technology have the potential to improve access to services and quality of care.
Benefits of Telehealth
Telehealth can make healthcare more efficient, better coordinated, and closer to home. It is advantageous for patients, since they can remotely receive healthcare, health education, and health information services. This combination of healthcare and technology is beneficial not only for patients but also for healthcare providers and communities.
Some of these benefits include:
- Access to medical specialists
- Improved communication and coordination of care
- More accessible healthcare services
- Slowed spread of infection
- Support for self-management healthcare
Technology in Telehealth
Telehealth utilizes various technologies to help physicians communicate from a distance. Computers, digital photography, videoconferencing, the Internet, and satellite and wireless communications are several technologies currently deployed. People are now more technologically connected than ever, with 81% of Americans owning a smartphone. Mobile health is an example of a growing telehealth technology service that can promote better health outcomes and care access. Patients can use healthcare applications and programs on smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
Telehealth technology also allows for improved communication and coordination of care between healthcare providers and patients. Video conferencing enables physicians to conduct appointments virtually. Real-time video communications platforms provide patients who cannot travel with access to care and services. A variety of technologies also allow health care providers to monitor health remotely. These technologies include web-based or mobile applications for uploading information and devices that measure and wirelessly transmit health data.
Our telehealth technologies can provide various healthcare services. However, certain types of services are more amenable to this communications system than others. Some of the common services that patients can receive are follow-up appointments, counseling and education, medication management, and behavioral health services.
Telehealth technology allows our physicians to check-in with patients during virtual follow-up appointments and enables remote evaluation. Remote monitoring also gives physicians the ability to detect any fluctuations in patients’ medical conditions remotely. These remote services are associated with an increase in quality and patient satisfaction. A study by the International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances found that patients and healthcare providers have a high level of satisfaction with telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who Should Use Telehealth Technology
People who cannot see a physician in-person should take advantage of telehealth technology. This method of providing healthcare allows more of our patients to receive services and treatment. Populations that live in isolated or rural areas, lack mobility, or face social distancing restrictions can benefit from more readily available services.
This method of providing health services is a convenient solution that allows people to access care from the comfort of their homes. Patients with busy schedules do not have to worry about taking time off work or arranging for childcare. With no need to travel to the office or wait for their appointments, telehealth can be a quicker and more efficient option.
Learn More About Telehealth
Telehealth is a convenient and effective alternative to in-person doctor appointments for many people. Our team at A Personal Physician can provide you with quality healthcare and services remotely. Call us at 760-940-7000 to learn how to take advantage of telehealth today.
Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat equipment do I need for a telehealth visit?
To get the most out of a virtual appointment, patients should have a telephone line and video access through smartphones, computers, or tablets. At a minimum, patients will need a telephone line to communicate with health care providers. However, most people prefer to connect visually, so a stable wifi connection to stream video during the virtual appointment is also necessary.How should I prepare for a telehealth visit?
Patients can prepare for a virtual visit by making sure that their paperwork is up-to-date and accurate beforehand. It is also helpful to forward any relevant health information, prepare questions and concerns, and note symptoms to discuss during the virtual appointment. For patients that are taking medications, be sure to have them ready to ensure accuracy and dosage. Prior to the appointment, check all equipment so that technical difficulties do not delay the visit.What should I expect at a telehealth appointment?
Similar to an in-person appointment, patients can expect the physician to review their medical charts and history. The physician will also speak with patients to directly evaluate them. This consultation will involve asking medical questions and can require requests for prior records and additional lab testing.How long is a telehealth appointment?
Physicians take the necessary time to discuss patients’ symptoms, assess their situation, and provide a recommended treatment plan. Just like an in-person visit, the length will vary. However, most appointments take around 15 minutes. Telehealth visits can improve time efficiency as there is no need to commute or wait in an office.Can I get a medication prescription during a telehealth appointment?
Yes. Patients can receive an electronic prescription during their virtual appointment as long as their diagnosis does not require further examination in-person. Physicians can write prescriptions during the appointment and send them to a pharmacy for home delivery or local pick-up.
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