COVID19: When is telemedicine appropriate to use

⁣Telemedicine: (n) the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology⠀

In school, I was repeatedly taught that a strong history and physical exam was the bread and butter of medicine. Without the physical exam part, how can one properly diagnose and treat a patient? ⠀⠀

Apparently, in this new age, we can. Telemedicine is “the future of medicine”. ⠀⠀⠀⠀

Business administration promote telemedicine because it increases patient access to healthcare and reduces healthcare cost and it is another avenue to bring in all that cash flow.⠀⠀

Patients love telemedicine because it is easy and convenient. They don’t have to wait hours to be seen at the urgent care. They don’t have to drive for a consultation. Their telemedicine copay is cheaper than an in person visit. ⠀⠀⠀

Telemedicine is great for some occasions: â €

✅Medication refill requests for medications that you have been on for years and you have a pending appointment with your primary care provider soon⠀⠀

✅Questions and concerns about a recent diagnosis or new medication⠀⠀

✅A work excuse note for your recent illness⠀⠀

✅A referral for a specialist or physical therapy ✅A second opinion from a specialist once you already have had all the tests completed ⠀⠀

Telemedicine is NOT indicated for: ⠀⠀

✅Any symptoms that may require further testing (ie: urinalysis, Strep test, labs, imaging)⠀⠀

✅Severe symptoms (shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain, abdominal pain) ⠀⠀

✅New rashes or skin changes ⠀⠀

Any reactions to medications or recent procedures ⠀⠀

✅Refill on medications that you haven’t been on in a long time ⠀⠀

 

VP Mike Pence recently announced that all US health insurers will cover all Coronavirus testing, treatments and telemedicine visits. ⠀⠀⠀

If you have mild cold symptoms and you want to discuss more about your concerns about the Coronavirus, telemedicine may be right for you.  Please, don’t bombard the UC or ED with minor symptoms. â €

 

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