What is telemedicine and why is it important today? Telemedicine provides patients access to medical care through virtual appointments. Patients can access a virtual medical appointment through computers, laptops, tablets and smart phones. Telemedicine had its main introduction in 2014 and since then it’s use and accessibility has been growing. Guidelines to ensure excellent patient care, safe outcomes, patient privacy, and ease of use has been being streamlined just in time. Today, telemedicine use is being used as a first line for treatment in the setting of COVID 19.
Most of us could hardly have imagined a time like this. We started out with a curiosity about something going on, way on the other side of the globe. Within weeks this curiosity became a threat to us here in the United States and now impacts everything we do.
From the beginning, medical practitioners (MD/DOs, NPs, PAs, NDs) knew this would place a huge toll on our ability to provide excellent care to our patients. In my professional circles we talked a lot about the high volume impact to the Emergency Departments (ED) and Urgent Cares (UC). None of us (at least in my many professional circles) considered the surprising result of a huge reduction of patient volume in private primary practices, non-essential medical practices such as aesthetic medicine and even in ED and UC volumes. Most medical offices are also not prepared with PPE and testing to provide care for somewhat sick patients that may have the COVID 19 virus. Across the nation, many private practices have temporarily or permanently closed their doors as a result.
Patients are now thinking twice about making a medical visit for simple illnesses and injuries. Home remedies are being tried first. Overall I feel this is a good trend, because many of the visits that crowd clinics and EDs are not necessary for recovery. However, some patients are not getting necessary healthcare due to changes in the outpatient setting- this is one way that telemedicine can fill that gap. Visits (face to face or virtual) are valuable to provide the medical practitioner an opportunity to rule out anything serious, develop appropriate treatment plans, provide prescriptions, and provide necessary referrals to the ED or specialists.
Visits also provide reassurance to the concerned patient regarding their condition or illness, education and supportive measures are provided. Telemedicine offers you the opportunity to have a “visit” or appointment from the safety of your home. Through telemedicine you can expect the same level of quality medical care for your urgent visits, specialists visits, and functional medicine visits.
Olympus is accepting Telemedicine appointments!
Schedule an appointment with our Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, Kimberly Marshall.
For a limited time, we are offering $50 off a Functional Medicine consult via Telemedicine!
Email us to schedule an appointment at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Annemarie Alf
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