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Is Telemedicine the Right RX for Urgent Care?

chronic conditionsPhysicians practices throughout the United States are increasingly turning to telemedicine for routine follow-up care, chronic condition management, and counseling services. Some practices also realize that video visits can be an effective way to offer urgent care services for particular types of cases. By providing this service, these practices protect themselves against the growing pressure of competition from retail walk-in clinics and other new online options for patients.

Here are just a few of the types of urgent conditions that can be treated effectively with the use of telemedicine.

Allergies and sinus flare-ups

In many cases, an in-person diagnosis is not necessary for patients with allergies or sinus infections. A video visit may be all it takes to determine the best course of treatment and prescribe medications if needed.

Cold and flu symptoms

When a patient has a cold or flu-like symptoms, often all the provider can do is offer reassurance that the problem isn’t more severe and suggest some palliative measures. This can easily be done with a remote visit, saving the sick patient from having to drag themselves into the office, and protecting other patients, office staff, and providers from being exposed.

UTIs and Yeast Infections

UTIs and yeast infections, especially if they are chronic, are another good example of urgent care services that are well suited for telemedicine. The appropriate medications can be prescribed, except scheduled or controlled drugs. Patients can be advised about what to look for should the condition become more severe.

Skin rashes and lesions

With high-resolution video, it is possible to evaluate and treat a variety of skin conditions during a remote visit. Even if they turn out to be minor, these conditions can be very concerning for patients who may not want to wait until they can get into the office to have them assessed.

These urgent care conditions and others are excellent examples of cases that many patients would love to have taken care of via telemedicine. Patients can receive treatment without missing work, with no transportation time or expense, and without the risk of infecting others. Providers can treat patients quickly and cost effectively, get reimbursed, and head off the competition by strengthening patient loyalty. When it comes to urgent care, telemedicine may be just what the doctor ordered.