One of the biggest concerns people had during the height of the pandemic was how to keep up with their doctor’s appointments. Primary care visits consist of health checkups, diagnostics and treatment, and monitoring of chronic diseases. With social distancing guidelines in place, doctor’s appointments last year and early this year were increasingly being done online. In other words, more and more patients saw their primary care doctors virtually, through their smartphones and computers, which telehealth has made possible.
As the access to telehealth continues to broaden, many may scratch their heads at this seemingly new way of getting medical care. However, telehealth was already widely used even before the pandemic.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is defined as the delivery of health education, information, and medical services via remote technology. Telehealth covers a wide range of health-related services. Examples include wearable sensing and mobile health applications, online patient portals, wireless medication adherence tools, video conferencing platforms, and remote patient monitoring.
It is often confused with telemedicine, which is the practice of providing diagnosis and treatment to patients using a video conferencing tool such as a smartphone or computer. More and more doctors and practices are using digital tools to provide services to their patients.
Primary Care Via Telemedicine
Increasingly becoming a very common way to get primary care, telemedicine appointments are extremely convenient for patients. It can also be cost-effective, if you count the cost of going to the doctor’s office for follow-ups and the cost of missing work for the day. It has also been helpful in reducing the risk of getting the coronavirus while in a doctor’s office.
To book a telemedicine appointment, the medical office will have a patient portal on their website through which you can book an appointment. Some even have an app that you can download straight to your phone. You may be asked to fill out a form beforehand that they will use to determine whether telemedicine is appropriate for the issue you are experiencing. You may be better served through an in-person visit in some cases. The software or app will help you schedule a remote visit based on the doctor’s availability.
If you want to see a primary care doctor and wonder whether they offer telemedicine, the best way to find out is to place a call to their clinic and ask if they do virtual visits or consultations. Moreover, every practice will have variations in how they set up telemedicine appointments, and calling can provide some guidance.
Once your appointment is set up, simply follow the directions provided to you on the day of your appointment. Usually, patients are given a link to click at the time of the appointment to do a video conference with the doctor.
Primary Care Doctor in Irmo, SC
Our internal medicine doctors at SC Internal Medicine Associates and Rehabilitation, LLC offer telemedicine to our patients with conditions that can be diagnosed, treated, and managed virtually. Trust that we will make the appropriate recommendations and referrals that will best serve you. If you have any questions about our telemedicine services, call (803) 749-1111. To make an appointment, please use our easy-to-fill patient request form.