It’s been quite some time since health care meant a house call from your family doctor, yet thanks to technology, those days may be returning. Now known as telehealth or telemedicine, the house call of the 21st century is virtual, using computers, smartphones, and tablets.
Behind the simple concept of a conversation between a patient and doctor, the infrastructure of telemedicine works to keep your personal medical information private. It’s convenient for many types of health issues. The team at Sheridan Ear, Nose & Throat are happy to offer telemedicine visits for their patients. For those who haven’t already used this service, here’s a primer about what to expect from your first telemedicine appointment.
What is telemedicine?
Stated simply, telemedicine is any health consultation that takes place by electronic means, whether it’s over the phone, smartphone, or other device, by voice or video. As part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, also known as HIPAA, security standards for the protection of patient information became part of the medical care landscape.
Any health care provider who transmits medical data electronically now has standards they must follow to protect your personal data. Telemedicine appointments are covered by these requirements.
What to expect from your first telemedicine appointment
It’s always a bit unsettling to have a new experience, and you may go into your telemedicine appointment with a few nerves. However, you’ll find that a video telemedicine appointment closely resembles an in-person visit. You’re talking one-on-one with a trusted health professional who asks you about your symptoms, your health history, and discusses things with you as in a regular doctor’s appointment.
You’ll log into your telemedicine appointment from a place of your choosing. You may be at home or in a quiet room at work. There’s no need to commute to Sheridan ENT’s offices or otherwise interrupt your day. You may find that your appointment is more relaxed since you’re in your own space and at your own pace.
You book a telemedicine session the same way as you would any appointment. Call the office or click on the Make an Appointment link on this page. If there are any forms to complete or information to provide ahead of your appointment, you’ll be informed at the time of booking.
When you’ve booked your session and decided which device to use, make sure it’s fully charged or plugged in so your appointment won’t be interrupted. Familiarize yourself with the features of the app or software you’ll use.
Headphones or earbuds are usually better for both privacy and hearing. Sit somewhere comfortable and well-lit. For some ailments, it’s important that Dr. Bateman is able to see you and perhaps into your ears, nose, or mouth.
Chances are you’ll spend less time overall on your appointment, and more of that time will be directly in contact with Dr. Bateman or a member of his team. Like many others, you may find you prefer telemedicine when it’s appropriate to your needs.
Call or click to book your first session with Sheridan Ear, Nose & Throat today.