Telemedicine: a win-win solution for everyone.
Author: Gael Wheeler, DO
The coronavirus has changed how we interact with others. We know that the primary transmission of the virus is respiratory droplet and we also know many carriers of the virus may be asymptomatic and not know they have it. We have to behave as though another person may be that asymptomatic carrier and we want to protect our own health; similarly, we could be that asymptomatic carrier and don’t want to infect others.
This has implications for the doctor-patient relationship, particularly in a setting such as ours where the patient may be face-to-face with a provider in a confined space for an extended period of time. Most viral infections are dose-dependent. The longer the exposure, the greater likelihood of infection.
Fortunately, this does not mean we must dissolve our doctor-patient relationship. Most practices now offer telemedicine as an alternative to in-person visits. In fact, the Kansas State Department of Health is promoting this as a safer alternative. Patients who have a telemedicine visit will find a number of positive outcomes.
- First and most obviously, with the technology available today the patient can receive quality care in a zero-risk environment. No exposure risk for you. Also, the less foot traffic through the clinic, the less exposure to the patients who must come in for treatment (many of whom may be immune-compromised) and to the staff.
- Secondly, you don’t need to commute to have your visit. You can have your visit in the privacy of your own home, saving the expense and hassle of driving. And fewer cars on the road means a healthier environment!
- Third, for many of the issues we address, a hands-on physical exam is rarely needed and will not contribute to the diagnostic or treatment process. When necessary, many aspects of a physical exam can be conducted in a virtual visit.
Telemedicine visits can be via phone or video with Zoom. With a Zoom visit, the office will simply schedule the visit, send you an email with a link that you click on at the appointment time and you will automatically be in a video face-to-face visit with your provider. You can do this on your computer, tablet or even your phone if it has video capability. Even if you want an IV, you can have your visit with the provider through Telemedicine and come in for your treatment later, again minimizing exposure.
We recommend unless you need to come in for a treatment, try Telemedicine. We know you will find it as good as a visit in person; and in this environment, it is even superior. Join the others who have found this a safe, convenient way to enjoy quality care.
Schedule your visit today by calling 800.447.7276.