Telemedicine—the delivery of health care from a distance using technology—has become increasingly popular following the COVID-19 pandemic. Telemedicine allows people to seek basic primary care and other services without having to leave their homes, making it a convenient, efficient and often less expensive way to receive health care. This article explains how telemedicine can give you the most value out of health care services that may be available to you.
The simplest way to begin integrating telemedicine into your life is by shifting your routine visits to the virtual setting. If your primary care physician agrees that your routine visits can safely be conducted over the computer, you might consider trying it. By shifting routine visits online, you will have more time back in your day that would have been spent on the commute and in the waiting room. It can save you money as well; not only will you take less time off work and avoid paying for transportation to the doctor’s office and other similar costs, but the visit itself will often be less expensive. According to Red Quill Consulting Inc., a virtual appointment typically costs around $40 to $50, while in-person care can cost as much as $176 per visit. If you are considering telemedicine, starting with your routine visits is a great way to start.
Another benefit of telemedicine is that some doctors are on call 24/7. While in-person doctors often work regular business hours, some telemedicine providers may be available when you come down with a fever on a Saturday or another time a physical doctor’s office wouldn’t be open. However, you should immediately seek in-person care if you experience a true emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke. Further, even though some of these visits may still result in needing to see an in-person provider at some point, telemedicine helps find a solution faster. It often saves both the doctor and patients the extra time that an in-person visit would consume, and it can be more cost-effective as well.
Mental health care services are another beneficial telemedicine option. Whether you struggle to find time to physically see a specialist or you feel uncomfortable doing so, online mental health services are a great alternative. For many, virtual mental health appointments are not only convenient but also more comfortable because they can be done from the safety of your own home.
Telemedicine has become popular over the last few years, and for good reason. Whether you need a routine visit, need care outside of business hours or want to take advantage of available mental health services, telemedicine can be an efficient tool. If you have more questions about telemedicine and the options available to you, please contact your manager or HR.