COVID & Telemedicine
As we practice social distancing to fight COVID-19, telemedicine is providing us with a safe and efficient means of obtaining healthcare. The medical world is changed forever because of COVID-19. The technology of telemedicine enables access to medical services and information in a manner that was previously not available.
The Spread of COVID-19
The virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets that go airborne when a person who is symptomatic coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread by a person who has unnoticed, mild symptoms, or even no symptoms at all.
It is also possible to pick up the virus from shared surfaces or objects that have been touched, sneezed, or coughed on and have not been appropriately cleaned and disinfected.
Utilizing telemedicine allows you to decrease your contact with potentially contaminated places, like a doctor’s waiting room or your mode of transportation.
Telemedicine is now being recommended as the first option for non-emergency care. It is also being used to evaluate patients for possible coronavirus symptoms and to advise on whether COVID-19 testing is recommended.
Emergency signs associated with COVID-19 include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Persistent chest pain or pressure
- Sudden confusion, lethargy or inability to rouse
- Bluish lips or face
Telemedicine is NOT a replacement for emergency in-person care when that is needed.
Be sure to investigate what telemedicine services your health plan covers, including whether your preferred doctor or therapist is in your plan’s network. If your local health system or provider offers telemedicine services, start there.
Make sure to ask whether providers are using platforms that protect your privacy and are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
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