As technology becomes a bigger part of our daily lives, more and more of us want to use our phones or tablets to get easier access to everyday services such as groceries, dinner, and entertainment options.
Health care is no different – access and convenience can make a big difference.
Telemedicine services are popping up everywhere it seems, and their success goes beyond the novelty of talking to a doctor right from your smartphone. Indeed, telemedicine helps people who can’t get a quick appointment to see their primary care doctor or don’t want to wait in a packed emergency room for something that’s not quite an emergency.
Dialing up a doctor on a digital platform works when you have a cold or the flu, too, because let’s face it: When you are sick, the last thing you feel like doing is getting in the car and driving across town.
As Lee Health launches its new TeleHealth service, here are a few things to consider if you are thinking about connecting with a doctor through your smartphone, tablet, or computer:
TeleHealth is perfect for certain conditions.
We’re talking non-emergencies only, of course. Do you have a cold, a twisted ankle, or an earache? Are those annoying allergies acting up? Do you have a sore throat, rash, urinary tract infection, or a sprain or strain? A bad case of the flu? Telemedicine doctors train to deal with these kinds of complaints, and patients can access TeleHealth from home, a parked car, from their office – and in the middle of the night when an urgent care office might be closed.
TeleHealth helps those with limited mobility or transportation problems.
We’ve all been there: Can’t find a sitter, car is in the shop, or you’re just not getting out of that staff meeting. Telemedicine provides instant access – right from your office chair or in the breakroom if you need it. And patients who have trouble getting around because of physical issues now have a new stress-free option.
TeleHealth saves money.
Many telemedicine services simply offer a flat fee. Lee TeleHealth charges $49 for an appointment – and that helps erase the hassle of insurance information and co-pay questions.
On your vacation and don’t know where to go?
You’ve traveled to Florida for a little fun in the sun and, instead, you end up with a cold? Dial up TeleHealth. You’ve gone to visit the in-laws in Michigan and don’t want to visit an urgent care there? Use an online group you’re familiar with back home.
Privacy, prescriptions, and prompt service.
We’re all worried about data and personal information floating somewhere out there through a computer tube, but telemedicine services, including Lee TeleHealth, use encryption to keep your stuff safe. And online doctors are still doctors: They schedule follow-up care, call in your prescriptions, or refer you to other facilities if you need more rigorous tests.
“The service not only lowers health care costs but also studies have shown it improves health outcomes,” says Venkat Prasad, M.D., chief medical officer of Lee Physician Group. “Patients can use the TeleHealth program to avoid interrupting their work day to visit their doctor’s office. The program saves time and money and the program extends the reach of our health care team by providing the right care, at the right place, at the right time.”
Obsession with phones and interactivity will only increase, and many services have been working hard to adapt and evolve. Factor in community outreach, innovation, and making sure patients get what they want when they want it – and telemedicine may just be what the doctor ordered.
See a doctor today!
Want to learn more or sign up? Check out leetelehealth.org.