November 24, 2021
This technology provides flexibility for you and your healthcare providers and may lead to better management of your diabetes.
If you have diabetes, you are likely familiar with the need for frequent check-ups with your doctor. Needing to attend regular medical appointments can become a burden on your daily life due to scheduling conflicts, taking time off of work, and arranging transportation. If you live in a rural area, a visit with your doctor can become an all-day affair requiring multiple hours of driving. These situations can lead to frustration, missed appointments, and less effective diabetes management.
Thanks to advances in technology, you may have the option to attend virtual meetings with your healthcare providers through telehealth appointments. This technology provides flexibility for you and your healthcare providers and may lead to better management of your diabetes.
Telehealth is any type of healthcare service delivered virtually rather than in-person. Telehealth appointments typically involve you and your healthcare provider meeting over a secure video or audio call on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Telehealth can also include remote patient monitoring that sends data directly to your doctor, email or text communication with healthcare providers, or online patient education materials.
Telehealth is a relatively new technology, but the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the healthcare community and its patients to adjust quickly to virtual medical care. Because of the quick work of the individuals in charge of developing and initiating telehealth technology, providers could address the health needs of millions of Americans, even during the height of the pandemic.
Although patients can continue receiving healthcare virtually, lawmakers and insurance companies are still developing reimbursement policies to ensure that providers deliver safe and effective care.
Telehealth is an excellent example of how advances in technology can increase access to healthcare. By incorporating virtual appointments into your regular healthcare routine, you can experience the many benefits of telehealth:
If you have never used telehealth, you are familiar with communicating with your doctor strictly during in-office appointments. During these meetings, you talk with your doctor about your symptoms or health concerns, and your doctor orders any necessary tests at that time. Often, you have to make another appointment, return for these tests, and then meet with your doctor again to review the results.
Virtual discussions about your health concerns allow your doctor to anticipate which assessments and tests to perform before you arrive for your in-person appointment. While in the office, the healthcare team can focus on your specific needs and accomplish any tests that cannot be addressed online, such as physical assessments, blood work, and x-rays. Having a plan before you arrive saves time, makes your visit more efficient, and may reduce the frequency in which you have to return to your doctor’s office.
If you are used to seeing your doctor in person or struggle with technology, you may be hesitant to use telehealth services. In order to maximize your success with virtual healthcare, let’s review the best ways to prepare for your appointment.
Health and Human Services. Preparing for a virtual visit. Updated 2 July 2021.
MedlinePlus. Telehealth. Updated 10 August 2021.
Garajawala & Pelkowski. Telehealth Benefits and Barriers. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners. Published February 2021
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