How to have an online visit with your doctor via Telemedicine

Video-based medical visits have revolutionized the world. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing factors, Telemedicine has gained popularity on a large scale. The most effective way to keep the spread of the epidemic under control is social distancing. Telemedicine shines in this area as it makes online medical appointments possible. With the improvement in video-based medical consultations, the healthcare system has changed marginally.
Coverage of possible healthcare needs
Telemedicine has allowed plenty of healthcare needs to be addressed in detail. To shed light on a variety of needs, a few have been highlighted below:
● Critical and urgent care
● Immediate diagnosis of medical conditions
● Primary care
● Care for children
● Medical counseling
● Appointments with various specialists
Benefits of an online medical appointment
The increasing involvement of patients and doctors in Telemedicine indicates that it is beneficial for both parties. Since the inception of Telemedicine, the convenience factor has been the biggest reason behind the popularity. As a result of healthcare needs being met online, an individual does need to put a foot outside their house. It eliminates discomfort, cost, and energy.
Moreover, Telemedicine has provided a safe channel for patients to get their healthcare needs to be met in the time of a pandemic.
Telemedicine: How to have an online visit with your doctor
Even though patients who already use Telemedicine is increasing day by day, many have not divulged it yet. This section will provide them with an overview and answer their question of how to use telemedicine?
Popularity of Telemedicine
Healthcare institutions offering medical services are rapidly recognizing the need for Telemedicine. However, not all hospitals have caught up. Patients are advised to always inquire of their healthcare provider if they have such a system in place a week or so before they wish to get the consultation. If the doctor says no, it will give the individual plenty of time to find a doctor that utilizes Telemedicine to the fullest.

Tools required
To successfully have an online medical appointment, there are a few tools that are required. Most of the time, the doctor or their office informs the patients about the types of tools that they will need. An individual can be proactive and ask about them when they book an appointment. Generally, the tools that will be needed are:
● The main devices used are smartphones, laptops, or tablets. If the device has a web camera, it is a bonus. Many diagnoses require a visual checkup which is why your doctor might ask you to have your device’s camera turned on.
● Telemedicine has advanced enough that many hospitals and clinics use a digitized healthcare system. They might ask you to download specific software or application for easy communication.
● Depending on your condition, it is often recommended to have a blood pressure cuff nearby. Patients are generally advised to use a digital blood pressure monitoring machine as that requires no skills.
How to use telemedicine?
There is quite a population of the world that has not yet warmed up to technology. But many are trying not only because the pandemic calls for it but also to adapt to the changing environment. The truth is that the process of using telemedicine is not that hard. The patient simply needs to call their chosen healthcare provider and book an appointment for the particular doctor that they wish to see. If they have a special app or system in place then the patient ought to ask how they can use and navigate it properly.
Insurance of online medical appointment
The first thing that needs to be understood is that every health plan varies. It means that insurance policies will also vary from region to region. Some plans only cover video call appointments but others cover both phone calls and video calls. Since there are numerous dimensions to telemedicine, insurance companies are striving to catch up and cover all. It is always better to contact the insurance provider beforehand. Detailed questions need to be asked about their policies regarding telemedicine and the coverage that they offer.
Conclusion
Patients who have utilized telemedicine are grateful because of the ease of usage. There is no particular science to it and anyone can learn it with a few guidelines. When taking an appointment, all one needs to do is follow the above instructions, find a quiet spot to sit at, and make the appointment. The doctors are more than willing to guide patients who are first-timers. Choosing telemedicine over physical visits has plenty of advantages which is why many healthcare providers are advocating for it. Patients fare better using it and it also provides a lot of safety and comfort to the doctors and medical staff too.

How To Promote Your Medical Practice ?

Medical practitioners are lauded over the world, and rightly so; the services they offer are crucial for humanity’s survival. No matter the kind of practitioner they are, some decide to get a job, but others have an entrepreneurial spirit. When they think of opening their practices, they are often stumped. Medical school or training does not teach people how to open up and run their own business. It should be made a part of their studies to stand on their feet in the future. But it is not, which is why many doctors struggle even if they have a plan and finances for their practice.

 

A medical practitioner planning for their practice needs to remember that there is a lot of work that goes on other than looking at the patient. They ought to remember that one of the first few actions that they need to take is to promote their practice.

 

 

Why You Need to Promote Your Practice?

Properly marketing a business is the best way to get it off the ground nicely. Not everyone has a marketing bone in their body, but it is essential to learn the art. A practice would only be able to attract patients if it is on the map. Patients will not automatically line up to visit a practitioner if they do not know much about them or their practice.

 

The need to promote your practice is high, as that is the only way that you will be able to keep your business running. As noble as a practitioner’s intention is, they ought to keep in mind that it is a business in every sense if they are running their practice.

 

 

 

How to Improve Clinic Business

When starting, the number of steps that one needs to take to establish a practice is daunting. Even if a practitioner has already laid the foundations, they need to improve it continuously. The term “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” does not apply here because there is always room for improvement. There are many steps that one can take to bring about new life to their practice.

 

Get a Team

The feeling of owning a business is excellent, but it is a fact that running a medical practice alone is taxing. According to many professionals, the way to go about having a successful practice is to have a reliable team. A medical practice cannot be run without a staff because a practitioner will not handle looking at the patients and run the managerial part of the business. A professional manager is needed for the operations to run smoothly. It is advised to hire the staff before one inaugurates the clinic. The potential candidates need to be interviewed based on their educational and training background and experience.

 

Go Digital

Since it is not the dark ages anymore, any medical practice hoping to make its name known needs a digital presence. Companies that are proficient in designing websites for medical practices can be hired to design an attractive website for the clinic. The website will serve to market the business and provide information about the practice, doctor, and staff.

 

Websites that let patients connect to the clinic in the form of online chats, online appointment booking, and more are generally utilized by big hospitals. But if a practitioner wishes to be efficient, then a small clinic having such a website would increase the influx of patients.

 

Find Clinic’s Brand Identity

Many medical practices are successful because their patients market for them but why is that so? The secret is that such practices could find their brand identity, promote it, and connect it with the patients. A new business should survey the competition and identity a factor that others are not offering. Once found, that factor needs to be advertised far and wide.

 

Once the patients start associating that particular factor with the clinic, a connection will be formed. The brand identity depends upon the customers’ needs and demands and practices of the clinic. It is imperative to remain consistent with the brand message and identity as reliability matters the most to patients.

 

 

Conclusion

Once the questions of how to improve a clinic’s business and why there is a need to promote the practice have been answered, the rest of the entrepreneurial journey is not that difficult. With a great support team at the back and a good marketing strategy, a medical practitioner can run a successful practice and continue to grow it exponentially. The team running a medical practice should never lose sight of the fact that it is after all a business and should be treated as such. A combination of the Hippocratic spirit and keen business sense will be the most fruitful for any medical practice.

 

Telemedicine in Cancer Care

Telemedicine in Cancer Care

COVID-19 has drastically changed the lives of people around the globe. It has affected medical patients a lot, especially the ones with cancer. Hospitals have been overflowing with critical patients of COVID-19 which has resulted in a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of these sufferers. During this time telemedicine can play a huge role in dealing with unresolved complaints of such patients. In June 2020, Cancer Research UK revealed that there was a backlog of no less than 2.4 million people who needed proper medical care for cancer. In the opinion of experts, Telemedicine for Cancer Care in the time of COVID-19 may help tackle these problems to a great extent.

 

Rise of Telemedicine for Cancer Care in the time of COVID-19

According to AnaMaria Lopez, medical oncologist at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA, the telemedicine patients in May 2020 were equal to the telemedicine patients they attended in a whole year. In different medical centers around the state, the number rose from 40 to around 4000 in a single month. Due to the precarious nature of the illness, the treatment process must remain uninterrupted.

According to research, out of 379 patients, 283 of them went from in-person visits to telemedicine. This makes up 75% of all the patients that took part in this research. It shows how telemedicine can restructure the execution of cancer care. This development has completely conquered the problems faced due to distance and socio-economic difficulties.

 

How telemedicine helps in cancer care

Nowadays, one of the most important tools is an electronic patient portal which allows doctors and patients to send and receive important health-related messages. This tool cannot be used for life-threatening emergencies but they can be best used for general advice, medicine refills, and showing results to professionals. Cancers survivors can use simple tools such as texting and messaging for general advice. The newly introduced gadgets such as smartwatches can help monitor vital signs. These devices become of great help in keeping track of calorie intake, exercise, and sleep schedule and can also remind them of taking their necessary medications on time.

 

Telemedicine: How to have an online visit with your doctor

Telemedicine appointments are easier to make than in-person appointments if one has the right tools which are mentioned below:

Devices used for telemedicine

First of all, it is important to decide which device a person would like to use for their telemedicine appointment. One can choose between a laptop, smartphone, or tablet but the most important tool is a stable internet connection.

Setting up an appointment

Before making an appointment it is important to call the health care service provider and ask if they have telemedicine services and if they have it, how should one connect to them. It could be a simple in-built app, a downloadable specific app, or register online on their website.

Choosing a quiet place

To gain the most productivity from the appointment, it is necessary to choose a quiet comfortable place so that it is easier for both the patient and doctor to be able to hear each other without interruptions or distractions.

Organizing Medical History Beforehand

The organization of medical history is certainly useful to save time and hassle during the appointment and just like an in-person visit, it will help the physician to make a much more accurate diagnosis. It is also important to complete the necessary paperwork before e.g. things like medications one is already taking, emergency contacts, insurance, and patient information, etc.

Acquire Vital Signs

Before the appointment, it would help the physical evaluation if the patient has obtained their vital signs through remote patient monitoring.

Writing the questions before the appointment

To avoid distractions it is best to write down questions beforehand so that one may not forget them during their appointment.

Reviewing the treatment plan

The physicians are experts but for one’s self, it is important to review their treatment plan ahead of time so that the patient understands and remembers what comes next. Writing down the treatment plan can prove to be quite helpful.

Follow-up appointment

Before the end of the appointment, it is recommended to schedule a necessary follow-up appointment, if any.

 

Conclusion

Telemedicine was introduced around 100 years ago but it has evolved greatly with time, today it has become a very important instrument in caring for patients with life-altering diseases such as cancer. Owing to the operations of telemedicine, cancer patients are now able to practice self-care in the vicinity of their homes. It has minimized the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus for patients with fragile health. Not only that, but it has also made a safe environment for medical health professionals. It is safe to say that in the times of COVID-19, telemedicine and cancer care go hand in hand.

What is Telehealth and How Can Telehealth Help Patients?

Technology and Communications has come a long way in the past 50 years. It only seems like yesterday when dial-up internet was the norm for households. Where computers needed their own rooms in order to operate. Now you can carry a computer in the pocket of your jeans. With every industry excelling with the help of technology it is no surprise that the health industry has also done the same. This new synergy of health and technology has come to be aptly known as Telehealth and it is already taking the world by storm.

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is the use of technology and computer software for the purpose of facilitating people when it comes to health and welfare. Telehealth comes in many forms and is as simple as viewing your lab report online to as complex as getting a checkup done through a video conversation. 

Telehealth works when hospitals and clinics shift some of their resources online. Patients can gain access to these portals with the help of the internet, by either creating a specific account for themselves or by signing in as a guest. This process would depend on the service provider. Telehealth would then be able to assist patients and service providers by giving them the option to streamline and computerise their systems. 

Different Forms of Telehealth:

The multiple forms of telehealth includes Patient Portals, Virtual Consultation, Lab Reports, Information Management, and others.

Patient Portals allow patients to create specialised and separate accounts at a clinic or a hospital portal. They can view all of their information from those portals. These portals may allow you to communicate with the staff at your hospital, allowing you to maintain a contact with your doctors and nurses. These portals may even allow you to request for prescription refills, book labs, view lab reports, and even book consultations with your primary care physician or a specialist if needed. Patient portals may allow you to view the history of your previous appointments. This would help you and your physician keep track.

Virtual Consultations are recently becoming very important due to the pandemic and the risk of infection of the coronavirus with increased interaction with people. Therefore, it might not be safe for someone to visit a hospital or a clinic during these times especially if their health is already immunocompromised. Due to this doctors and patients are preferring virtual consultations over physical consultations.

Lab Reports can now be accessed online with the help of Telehealth. Patients no longer have the need to travel all the way back to the clinic to just get their lab reports. They will be shown on their patient portals. Patients can also book their lab tests from the patient portals and if the need be they can also request technicians to come to their homes in order to get the lab tests done. This however applies for some lab tests, others still need to be conducted in a proper clinic facility.

Other forms of telehealth also include the health app on your phone that helps you keep track of your steps and your caloric intake. The results of this remote monitoring can also be shared with your physician who can then keep a general track on your health progress. Which may prove to be especially useful if someone is recovering from a surgery or a fracture in one limb.

Advantages of Telehealth:

With almost all forms of technological advancement there have been a fair share of advantages and benefits. Patient portals allow both patients and doctors to save their time and resources. Patients would not have to spend their time travelling to hospitals and clinics for getting the most basic of resources or for booking their appointments with doctors. The ability to keep a contact with one’s physician and nurse would allow them to receive medical advice as soon as possible. 

Furthermore, the ability of getting blood tests done at home and consultations being done virtually would allow for people to maintain a safe distance in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Even generally, some patients may find it difficult to travel due to physical limitations or they do not have the resources to travel to a doctor. This is particularly useful in the case when a specialist is not available in the local vicinity. Therefore, people living in slums or rural areas can now get excellent medical advice at a very low cost and with convenience. 

Telehealth also makes it easier to get lab tests done without the need for a doctor’s note, this will save the time for many patients and help resolve any concerns they might have.

Telehealth is also particularly useful in the case of psychology virtual consultations. As mental health issues are still a stigma in many parts of the world, many people are still unable to get a consultation. Virtual consultations will therefore allow people to get the help they need. 

Moreover, telehealth has made it easier to shift from one doctor to another, especially in the case of shifting cities. Doctors will be able to maintain a contact with one another which can be especially useful in the case of a patient having a chronic disease.

 

It is clear that telehealth is the way of life now, patients and hospital staff will be able to gain multiple advantages from these platforms. You can find the one that suits yours and your medical service providers needs. One such platform is Smart Clinix, which will be able to improve your medical related issues.