As the world changes and technology continues to advance, the delivery of healthcare services has also changed rapidly in an effort to keep up. Along with pursuing the best quality care, the focus of many healthcare providers has progressed toward delivering that quality care in the most convenient, effective and affordable way possible, to stand apart and ensure patient satisfaction in these modern times. This new dynamic has led to the rise of telemedicine.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine has utilized modern technology to revolutionize how patients access medical care. Put simply, telemedicine allows appointments to be conducted via webchat, meaning patients can meet with their healthcare providers face-to-face from just about anywhere. Anyone with a device that includes a webcam and an internet connection (both of which have been standard on smart phones, tablets and computers for years now) can take advantage of the benefits of these virtual visits! This new form of healthcare delivery has eliminated barriers and made access to care easier and more convenient than ever before.
How Does Telemedicine Work?
One of the best things about Telemedicine is that it is generally very easy to use. While each platform may differ slightly, the overall process is essentially the same across the board.
The first step is to make sure you have a working device that can accommodate telemedicine. This would essentially be any computer, tablet or smartphone with a web camera and access to the internet. You will also need a working email address so you may receive a link to access the virtual appointment.
The next step it to schedule your appointment. Simply contact your provider and request an appointment via telemedicine. If your provider is not yet set up for telemedicine, you may ask them for other options or seek a provider that can accommodate you for now.
In many instances, the provider’s office will contact you at some point prior to your appointment to ensure your device is working and able to access the telemedicine program.
On the day of your visit, you will receive an email with a link to the telemedicine appointment. Just click the link, and you will be directed to the online video conference with your provider.
And that’s it! Once you have completed your appointment, you can go on with your day.
What Are the Benefits of Telemedicine?
The ability for patients to meet with healthcare providers without having to be at the same location is a game changer for a variety of reasons.
Virtual visits are an ideal option for certain at-risk segments of the overall patient population. In-person visits to healthcare clinics and facilities are perfectly safe for the majority of people and are still the preferred method for many treatments due to availability of specific supplies and technologies.
But telemedicine is tremendously helpful for many individuals, including those who are either suffering from a contagious illness or may be particularly susceptible to contagious illnesses. Visiting with their providers remotely allows these patients to receive the care they need without putting themselves or others at risk.
Telemedicine is also a safe and very valuable tool during times of crisis. Virtual visits allow patients to get medical treatment when their usual means are cut off. If a natural disaster renders medical facilities inaccessible, or a widespread health emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic quarantines people in their homes, much needed care can still be made available thanks to telemedicine.
Let’s face it, people are busy these days. Whether it’s due to a full-time job, attending class, volunteer work, or getting the kids to six different activities, it just seems there isn’t enough time in the day. This can make traveling to your own medical appointments a real drag.
Once again, it’s telemedicine to the rescue! Eliminating the commuting component of your appointment saves a ton of time, especially if it’s out of the way of your other daily rounds. With telemedicine, all you need is your device and an internet connection. That means you can complete your appointment from home, your office, or during your lunch break!
The lack of a commute is also convenient for anyone who has trouble traveling. For example, some patients of Twin Cities Pain Clinic suffer from conditions that make transportation difficult, and in some cases outright unbearable. Telemedicine allows these individuals to access care from the comfort of home without enduring any additional, unnecessary discomfort.
At any given time, there are countless people without reliable access to medical care. One of the largest segments of this population are those living in rural communities.
For many of these rural residents, even the basics like primary care and emergency hospital services can be many miles away. Specialty services, such as orthopedics, mental health, or pain management, can be almost unobtainable, as even a simple consult or checkup could require a commute of several hours.
Not with telemedicine! Virtual visits allow rural patients to complete many kinds of appointments from their homes and delay the long commute until the time comes for that big, important appointment or procedure, which by then is worth the trip.
What Does it Mean to Me?
Telemedicine is changing the healthcare landscape forever. Reliable access to care is quickly becoming the new norm, even in times of widespread challenge and crisis. Any one of us could one day find ourselves cut off from our usual means of receiving much needed medical care. On that day, we will be glad telemedicine is around to save the day.
Telemedicine at Twin Cities Pain Clinic
We are proud to offer you the convenience of telemedicine virtual visits, wherever you may be. The process is simple, and appointments are readily available! Learn more and request your own virtual visit today by clicking the link below.