According to the health resource services administration (HRSA), telehealth refers to “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”.
There are many options for Telehealth, you can talk live to your doctor over your smartphone or video chat, receive and send messages using secure messaging and secure file sharing.
Also, you can use remote monitoring. This is when your doctor can check on you at home without being there. An example is when you use a device to check your vital signs and let your doctor know about your status and progress.
The main role of Telehealth lies in the convenience it offers to doctors and patients without the necessity of going to a hospital to get medical advice. It is also really effective because there is no need to stay a long time at the waiting room to see a healthcare provider.
Additionally, Telehealth can help if a doctor’s office is closed and follow-up appointments are needed with patients who have conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol.
Some hospitals or clinics offer virtual appointments that allow the patient to see a doctor via videoconference. These kinds of appointments allow the patient to receive appropriate medical attention if it is not possible to get to an office at the time.
This type of virtual consultation has been practiced by doctors for a long time and its use is a sign that there are better alternatives than the conventional system.
What can Telehealth do for you?
- Watch several medical videos and download them on your phone.
- Use the online patient portal to view your schedule appointments, test results, refill request or email your doctor.
- Request prescription medications online.
- Patients can access their medical records through their portals.
- Telehealth is a useful and practical option of medical care for those that are not able to see their doctor physically.
- It is a regular visit to treat all sorts of conditions.
Why use Telehealth?
- With Telehealth, healthcare is accessible to people living in isolated or rural communities.
- It facilitates services in a more efficient and faster way, especially for people with limited time, mobility or transportation options.
- Provides easier access to medical specialists.
- It improves the coordination and communication of the members of a medical team and the patient.
- Telehealth can help the patient anytime, anywhere.
- Avoid being in the waiting room to see a healthcare provider.
- Fastest way to contact your doctor.
Telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic
The telehealth service has become a great ally for medical centers and hospitals, but above all, for those patients who suffer from chronic diseases or conditions such as diabetes and / or heart problems, and are considered a vulnerable population in these times of pandemic.
Therefore, elements such as social distancing and other remote services have become not only a solution but also a convenient alternative for those who want to be treated from the comfort of their home and stay away from the possible spread of the virus.
As it was mentioned before, the role of this new service is undoubtedly positive, safe, and one of its greatest advantages is that it promotes the tranquility of the patient, who will not have to stress with the protocols of a face-to-face medical appointment.
Confidentiality and tranquility
One of the greatest benefits of Telehealth is the feeling of confidence, tranquility and flexibility it provides to the patient.
There is no pressure to arrive on time, there are no limitations for communication, and the care is much more intimate and confidential, which creates a healthy behavior in patients who manage to maintain their follow-ups and treatments from a preferred place.
On the other hand, this innovative system has also brought a new way to continue receiving medical help taking into account the following points.
- Saves times
- Saves money
- Improves self-care
- Patients feel more confident talking about their health problems
- More time-efficient appointments
Common health conditions for telehealth treatment:
- Heart failure
- Heartburn, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Mental health concerns
- Colds and flu
We show you how to use it
Fallbrook Medical Center knows that despite the fact that technology advances by leaps and bounds, not all patients follow the same pace, and that is why our team of medical providers is prepared to instruct them in this new care service either via telephone or in person.
In fact, anyone interested in learning more about it but who requires some help to understand the system and its operation will be trained in our Fallbrook office.
Our intention is not only to serve our patients, but to provide them with new tools that allow them to continue with the commitment to improve their health.
To find out more about this new service and receive more information, our office number is always available and our staff will be happy to assist you.
Telehealth is not an emergency service
It is very important to know that the Telehealth service is exclusively for follow-ups, consultations or scheduling medical appointments.
While it is a relatively new, convenient and fast system, it should also be noted that it cannot be used for emergency situations. In fact, it is always recommended that you go to the nearest hospital in situations where your life may be at risk.
Also, it is necessary to understand that although Telehealth is a service that is here to stay and that offers many advantages, the conventional system has not ceased to exist and will always remain to complement the effectiveness of medical and health care.
Tips for Telehealth appointments
These are some elements to keep in mind if you plan to use Telehealth. Remember that when having a remote appointment, it is essential that you not only have a strong signal and a reliable internet connection, but also the following:
- Choose a quiet place where you can talk without any interruptions.
- Make sure your camera and microphone are working properly.
- Write down your concerns and some questions that you might want to ask.
- Have a list of your medications in case you don’t remember some of them.
- Take notes during the virtual appointment.
Things you should avoid during your Telehealth visit:
- Walking or moving around during the appointment.
- Connecting from a public location or while driving.
- Answering calls and messages in the middle of the appointment.