Virtual Visits For Your Family’s Health

Every parent knows the December rush of finding childcare for the winter break, holiday shopping and parties, and preparing for the new year. Add in a new baby and flu season sniffles, and getting through the day can become a challenge.

 

December sees some of the highest number of ER visits year-round, and a long wait for a doctor is likely not on your to-do list. Luckily, advances in telemedicine have made access to remote health care more accessible than ever.

 

Whether you’re travelling for the holidays or just don’t want to leave your warm home, here’s what you can expect from a virtual visit with your doctor.

Benefits of Virtual Care

Virtual visits have a few advantages over in-person care. First off, it’s super convenient for routine needs. They’re not a substitute for medical emergencies, but consider telemedicine for these health concerns:

 

  • Allergies
  • Cold and flu
  • Sprained and strained muscles
  • Sore throat
  • UTIs
  • Infections
  • Rashes and skin inflammation

Metal Health Care

In addition to physical illness, virtual visits are huge for mental health care. Especially for families living in a “care desert,” where mental health care providers aren’t available within 30 miles.

 

Opening up to a professional in your home environment can make visits more comfortable. Patients with tight schedules may also find virtual therapy convenient and flexible. If the holiday stress is building, consider finding a therapist or seeing if your insurance provider offers a hotline to call.

Reduce the Spread of Illness

Doctor’s offices and hospitals are naturally home to many germs, viruses, and illnesses. While your provider’s office is safe and clean, a video call with your doctor can reduce your family’s exposure to illness. If you or your little one are sick, you can also protect other patients from catching a bug.

Prepare For Your First Call

Telemedicine appointments can be conducted over the phone or a video call, depending on your office’s services and your care needs. Consultations may be a breeze over the phone, but a rash will require your doctor to see your skin over video.

 

Ask your doctor what services they recommend, and follow these steps to prepare for your visit.

Arrive Early and Test Your Tech

Depending on your provider, you may be able to follow a link and hop right into the call, or you’ll have to download a specific app or software. Your doctor’s office will likely send an email with all of the information you need, but follow up with them if you haven’t received any information.

 

Once you know your software needs, you’ll want to test your microphone, speaker, and camera to ensure everything is in working order. Sign in early to test in the software, and be sure to enable all necessary permissions.

 

If you have any trouble, your doctor is tech savvy enough to guide you through the process, so don’t worry too much.

Gather Your Documents and Medical History

Just like an in-person visit, you want to make sure your doctor has all of the information they need to treat you. Gather all medical history, allergies, x-rays, and any other relevant documents you may need. You can share these on the call, or contact your office so the doctor is ready for your appointment.

Prepare Your Space

Your provider may need to examine you visually, so make sure you have space that you can move freely in. Additionally, you’ll want to let everyone in your house know you’re unavailable so that you can speak and hear, and conduct the call without interruption.

 

Lighting is another important aspect to ensure your doctor can see you well. Natural lighting is best, but make sure your back isn’t facing a window. This can create a glare or halo effect that makes it difficult to see.

 

If you don’t have access to natural light, you can arrange lamps to brighten your room. Overhead lighting may also work, but can cast harsh shadows. Join a test call to make sure you’re visible.

 

Telemedicine appointments can save you and your family time and stress — especially during the busy holiday season. Consult with your insurance and health care providers to see what virtual options they have available. Then check out these tips from doctors so you can make the most of your next visit.