We’ll be the first to say that not every type of provider/patient interaction is ideal for remote medical care. In many cases, a close physical examination is the only way to meet the standard of care and make the right decisions for patients. However, there are a number of types of interactions where virtual care using telemedicine technology can be more efficient for provider and patient alike, while still getting the best possible outcome.
Follow Up Visits
Once a patient has been seen for an acute condition, such as an infection or injury, one or more follow up visits might be appropriate to ensure that the patient is healing as expected over time. The follow up gives the patient the opportunity to report their progress and the provider a chance to provide additional recommendations. For many conditions, these visits can be conducted virtually. Doing so increases the likelihood that the follow up will happen as planned.
Many patients are on medicine, like anti-depressants and blood thinners, that require close monitoring and frequent adjustment. No physical exam is usually necessary, making a video visit using telemedicine technology ideal.
Chronic Disease Management
The percentage of the population with a chronic illness such as congestive heart disease, COP, high blood pressure, IBD and more is growing rapidly. Often monitoring and treatment of these patients can be done virtually. This reduces the burden on already ill patients and improves health outcomes by ensuring that patient and provider are closely connected, working together to improve the patient’s health and quality of life.
Providers who are working with patients trying to lose weight or quit smoking find telemedicine to be a useful tool. They are able to have frequent touchpoints with patients to provide support and guidance without filling up the waiting room or risking no-shows or cancellations.
Sharing Test Results
Rather than scheduling a visit to share test results or losing the personal touch by doing it over the phone, doctors who use telehealth technology are able to communicate results and recommendations effectively remotely.
Medicare Chronic Care Management (CCM)
Video visits allow practices to easily manage the patients that need care the most–Medicare CCM patients. Patients with multiple medical conditions require high-touch ongoing care.
Flu, Cold, or Allergy
Instead of having a highly contagious patient in your waiting room, schedule a video visit to do an initial consult to determine if they need a physical exam or other form of medical care. In most cases, flu, cold, and allergy appointments can be handled over video–including prescribing follow-up care.
New Parenting Questions
New parents and babies will have more doctor appointments in the first year of the baby’s life than any other year! However, if parents have additional questions between visits, telemedicine is a great way to still provide visual feedback, personal touch, and best of all: reimbursement for a routine appointment.
Other Video Visit Appointment Opportunities:
- Minor urgent care
- Mental health issues or questions
- General health questions
- Pediatric fever or advice
- Smoking cessation
- Rashes and other skin problems
- Sports injuries
- Back pain
- and many more
Doctors and patients alike are quickly coming to the realization that with modern telemedicine software, not every interaction requires an in-person visit. In many cases, virtual visits can be leveraged to lower costs and save time for everyone. This win-win accounts for the surge in the popularity of telehealth solutions.