With stay at home orders and social distancing guidelines in place, it can seem like life has come to a standstill during the pandemic. We’re all under an unprecedented amount of stress right now.
But if you are experiencing a medical issue, that stress can quickly turn into panic as you might be wondering how in this self-isolated world, you can get the diagnosis and treatment you need.
Luckily, the medical field has adapted quickly. Many offices like ours are using a variety of ways to make sure that patients feel connected and get the help they need.
Don’t worry. We’re still here to help. Whether it’s online or in-person, care is out there! The only thing you have to do is decide which route to take.
First off, an emergency should still be treated as an emergency. If you experience sudden chest pain, a sudden headache, or weakness in one side of the face or body, you may be having a stroke or heart attack.
Severe difficulty in breathing or sudden confusion in a loved one is all 911 worthy. Don’t hesitate to call 911 to have trained professionals evaluate you or your loved ones.
Urgent Care or Emergency Room Visits
Sometimes getting yourself to urgent care or emergency facility is necessary. If you have a high fever, are experiencing new pain, or a minor injury, give us a call.
Their staff can help you determine whether urgent is urgent and what your best course of action is.
Don’t use telemedicine or in-office visits for routine issues during the pandemic. Routine issues can be handled on the phone or through an online patient portal.
Medication refills, doctor’s notes, or other paperwork can usually be handled by a staff member and do not require a telemedicine visit.
Many practices also have patient portals where you sign in to a secure online system and can ask for medication refills or submit scanned forms that need to be filled out.
Telemedicine vs. Office Visits
Telemedicine is perfectly suited for straightforward concerns, but it doesn’t work so well for more complex issues. For these scenarios, we may need to examine our patients in person at an office visit.
We will make office visits available when needed. Telemedicine also doesn’t work for preventative procedures like colonoscopies, pap smears, and mammograms. These types of procedures require an office visit.
Our Staff Can Help
We can help you determine if you need to go to urgent care or emergency facility or if a telemedicine visit would be appropriate for your needs.
When you call the office, we can discuss:
- If your issue is an emergency
- Will require an office visit
- Can be discussed handled online
During the pandemic, we may receive an unusually high volume of calls, so make sure to be succinct in your answers to their questions.
Tell Me More About Telemedicine
Here are some tips on how to get the most out of a telemedicine visit. After your appointment is confirmed, you need to prepare. To prepare for the visit:
- Make a list of issues. Write them down. For some reason, it’s easy to lose your train of thought in the virtual world. Make sure to note when your symptoms started and if they’ve changed. If you can also be aware of and note what aggravates and what alleviates symptoms, that will be of great help to your doctor.
- Take a photo of visible symptoms. Bites, rashes moles, and other skin issues are easily photographed. You can send these photos to your provider so that they can get a good look at the problem.
- Find a quiet place from which to call and eliminate distractions. This is crucial. Your provider needs to be able to hear you clearly, and you need to be able to focus.
- Prep your tech. Don’t waste your precious appointment time on technical issues. Give yourself time to work out any problems ahead of time.
- Test the app if you aren’t familiar with it.
- Test your webcam, microphone, and speakers.
- Plug in your laptop or device to make sure you won’t have an unexpected battery fail.
- Close any needed programs that may slow down or interrupt your appointment.
- Use the appropriate browser- some apps may not work well with some browsers.
- Use a wired internet connection whenever possible, to get the best stream.
- Adjust your lighting to be the best it can be.
- Line the camera up with your eyeliner so that you can have as much of a personalized experience as possible.
- Make sure you’ve disabled any spam blockers or functions that reject calls from private numbers.
Before Your Appointment
Get to the visit a little early and imagine that you are in the waiting room waiting for the nurse to call your name. If using a phone for the appointment, be prepared to answer your phone at the appointed time.
If using an online system, have your computer prepped and ready to go. Answer the call and talk with the doc!
We will remain open with regular business hours, and our staff is prepared to continue to provide quality care for you during this time of uncertainty. With pandemic concerns, we have continued to implement increased sanitizing efforts to help further protect our clients and community.
We will continue to modify and update any protocols as best needed to care for you and our community. Thank you for your continued support, trust, and cooperation during the pandemic.
Even in times of social distancing, we are here for you! Have a health concern? Make an appointment today!
Our nurses are standing by, as is our whole medical staff. Whether it’s connecting through an in-office visit or a virtual one, we are here to help you feel BETTER!