Understanding The Ins and Outs of TelehealthMay 17, 2023
Telehealth has become an increasingly popular healthcare option in recent years, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With telehealth, patients can receive medical care from the comfort of their own homes, making healthcare more accessible and convenient for people who may have difficulty traveling to in-person appointments. However, despite its growing popularity, many people still have questions about what telehealth is, how it works, and whether it’s right for them.
Telehealth is an online or phone-in program that allows consultations with a healthcare provider without requiring an in-person visit. You can talk to your doctor over the phone or through video chat, send messages, or use remote monitoring, such as wearing a device, so your health provider can check your progress at home.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, local telehealth services now offer a variety of specialized care, allowing healthcare providers to offer necessary medication changes and check ongoing health conditions. Some other services you can get with telehealth include mental health therapy and counseling, prescription management, post-surgical follow-up, consultation and appointments for ADD and ADHD, and even physical therapy.
In order to provide the best care, your provider may ask for vital information, such as your weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar. They can also seek images of certain conditions, as well as a diary of your symptoms. In return, your doctor can help you manage your health while you’re at home by sending you notifications on taking medication, suggestions on improving your diet, managing your stress and staying active, as well as encouragements on how you can commit to your current treatment plan.
Health Services Made for Modern Times
Staying in communication with your doctor without having to make in-person trips to the clinic is one of the benefits of telehealth. A news article published by the American Medical Association reveals that most seniors found virtual telehealth visits the same, or even better than traditional doctor visits. The respondents favored telehealth during limiting conditions, such as mobility issues, bad weather, or lockdowns. They also favor it when they are already in a good relationship with their healthcare provider. This might be why more and more healthcare providers are branching out with telehealth options.
The benefits of telehealth include:
It is more convenient. There’s no need for you to take long drives and sit for hours in a doctor’s waiting room, especially when you’re not feeling well. With telehealth, you can see the doctor from the comfort of your own home.
Reduces your exposure to other illnesses. The lack of physical contact benefits patients in two ways: if you are feeling unwell, it saves you from having to come to the clinic. Secondly, this keeps you from contracting other conditions.
There’s no need to wait for your appointment. Since your telehealth consultations are already scheduled, there’s no need to wait around at the clinic for your turn with the doctor.
You can include your family, too. Some consultations allow a family member to listen in. This means that even if you are in separate locations, they can join you in your appointment and ensure that you’re getting the best possible care.
Your healthcare provider can make better assessments. Seeing you in your home environment can help doctors make better health decisions. During the call, they can observe your ability to navigate and manage yourself at home. They can also identify things that may affect your health and movement, and make better suggestions to improve your current routines.
Minimized efforts, maximized care. While there are cases that require in-person visits, telehealth minimizes the need to travel for certain consultations, including post-treatment follow-ups, medication changes, or reviewing lab results.
With its many benefits, telehealth is changing the landscape of medicine. It overcomes restrictions in location and movement, allowing you to get the most out of each call.
How to Take a Telehealth Appointment
Technology has made medical care much more accessible, but not everyone is computer or smartphone savvy. If that’s the case, you can still enjoy the benefits of this service with a little help from a family, friend, or team member at your senior living community, and by following these tips.
All telehealth calls begin and end with your device. Here are some of the things you need to check before the call:
1. Make sure your laptop, tablet, or smartphone is charged sufficiently throughout the conversation. If not, charge it at for at least an hour before the call.
2. It should also be connected to the internet. You can do so by pressing the Wi-Fi icon on your laptop or going to your smartphone’s settings. If login details are required, ask a family member or community team member to give you access.
3. Get set up at least 10 minutes before the call is scheduled. If it’s a video call, you’ll want to be seated in a well-lit corner where the doctor on the other end can see you. For the best results, put your phone or device on a stand and wear earphones, so you can clearly hear what the doctor is saying.
4. If the healthcare provider is using a special app, check to see if you are logged in to the account that lets you access the call.
5. If the Wi-Fi connection is slow, or if the device doesn’t support video, some apps allow you to ask for an audio-only appointment.
If you’re feeling unsure of how to handle your first telehealth appointment, ask a trusted loved one or team member to assist you during the entire appointment. This way, should something come up, they will be ready to get you back online and help your appointment to flow as smoothly as possible.
Your Best Health Experience Is Here at The Atrium
Your health is at the heart of The Atrium at the Navesink Harbor. Our senior rehabilitation services are led by a team of specialized physicians, nurses, and social workers who can help create programs to reach your specific wellness goals. We take pride in our LiveWell Program, an award-winning holistic approach to celebrating life and living at your best.
Perched between the Navesink River and Red Bank, New Jersey, the Atrium at Navesink Harbor offers the city’s only waterfront, full-service senior living community. Our boutique-like hotel atmosphere, life-enriching programs, and cosmopolitan lifestyle lets you indulge in living your best life. Call us today!