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How to Make the Most of Your Telemedicine Visit

How to Make the Most of Your Telemedicine Visit

Ever felt like you need to consult the doctor but also believe that your concern is not an emergency that warrants a hospital visit? If you’ve been in that situation, chances are, you’ve thought about telemedicine – especially in these times when many doctors offer their services online. Do you want to learn how to make the most of telemedicine? Here’s how.

Telemedicine, defined

Telemedicine is the method of providing and receiving medical care remotely using a computer or phone. Typically, doctors and patients prefer video conferencing, but they also take advantage of text, email, chat, and voice calls.

Experts say telemedicine offers numerous benefits, including convenience, safety, and lower medical costs. And while some people think it is only helpful for those with mild health problems, studies show otherwise.

In one report, researchers revealed that telemedicine interventions might be associated with reductions in hospital admission rates and deaths among patients with heart failure¹.

Another study observed that telemonitoring appears to be useful in improving the cardiovascular risk factor profile of acute coronary syndrome survivors².

What can you do with telemedicine?

To make the most of your appointment, you need to know what you can do with telemedicine. With telemedicine, you can:

  • Receive counseling and other types of therapy (physical and speech).
  • Give your doctor a virtual visit of your home. This is especially helpful if you have allergies and you want to identify some triggers.
  • Get or renew a prescription or laboratory request.
  • Provide your physician with measurements, like blood pressure, blood sugar, and water and food intake.
  • Send your doctor a photo of the affected body part. For instance, you can take a picture of the back of your throat if you complain about a sore throat.

4 Tips: how to make the most of telemedicine

Below are some tips to make the most of your telemedicine visit:

Make technical preparations

The first step is to prepare the place where you’ll “meet” the doctor and make sure that your camera, speaker, and microphone are in working order. Whenever possible, use a gadget with a high-quality camera.

Choose a spot at home where your phone or WIFI signal is strongest. The place should also be quiet and well-lit.

Before your appointment, set up the device and remove any application you won’t be using. If you’re having difficulty, ask someone at home to help you.

how to make the most of telemedicine

List down details of your complaints

To make the most of your telemedicine visit, list down all the details of your complaint. Here’s a sample guide you can follow:

  • What are the symptoms?
  • Is it the first time you experienced them? When did they start?
  • What activities aggravate it? What makes it better?
  • Did you take medicines for your complaint?

Also, don’t forget to prepare any questions you have in mind. Case in point, if you know your prescriptions need updating, ask the doctor if he or she can update them.

Provide additional information

If you have your latest laboratory results, such as blood tests and chest x-ray, take photos of them so you can readily send them to your physician. Do the same thing for your prescriptions.

Take your vital signs

Whenever possible, take your vital signs and write them down:

  • Respiratory rate: number of breaths per minute.
  • Pulse rate: number of beats per minute.
  • Blood pressure
  • Temperature

Are you monitoring your blood sugar? If so, measure it, too. The same goes for your height and weight.

Final reminders in how to make the most of telemedicine

Please do not rely on telemedicine if you have severe symptoms that need immediate treatment.

Case in point, if you have chest pain, difficulty breathing, or intense headache with a stiff neck, head straight to the nearest hospital.

Additionally, follow the doctor’s recommendation if they tell you that you need to go to the hospital for a personal visit or diagnostic procedures.

Key Takeaways

How to make the most of telemedicine? Telemedicine is an excellent opportunity to access medical care in this time of the pandemic. To make the most of your telemedicine appointment, prepare all the details of your complaint, make technical preparations beforehand, take your vital signs, and provide as much information as you can.

Check out other topics under Health Knowledge here.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

1)Clinical effectiveness of telemedicine for chronic heart failure: a systematic review and meta-analysis
https://jim.bmj.com/content/65/5/899.abstract
Accessed May 25, 2021

2)Evaluation of a Telemedicine Service for the Secondary Prevention of Coronary Artery Disease
https://journals.lww.com/jcrjournal/Abstract/2012/01000/Evaluation_of_a_Telemedicine_Service_for_the.4.aspx
Accessed May 25, 2021

Benefits of Telemedicine
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/benefits-of-telemedicine
Accessed May 25, 2021

Telehealth: The advantages and disadvantages
https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/telehealth-the-advantages-and-disadvantages
Accessed May 25, 2021

Telemedicine During COVID-19: How to Make the Most of your Virtual Visit
https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2020/april/telemedicine-during-coronavirus
Accessed May 25, 2021

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Jul 06
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel