With COVID-19, this might be a very good time to benefit from telemedicine. I first began taking advantage of such services last year in response to being busy. I needed medical care but I was in the process of preparing to leave for a conference I was going to be teaching and presenting for. The ability to schedule a telemedicine call allowed me to manage what at the time was a mild medical condition and manage tasks such as packing and completing final preparations for my travel. Although a local urgent care is timely and convenient to get to, I found the telemedicine call to be even more convenient.
The first call, in my experience, will take the longest. I had to become a registered client and go through the initial process of an intake and managing payments for future visits. Once I was registered, I was able to schedule a follow up call for a physician which managed to contact me during my approved scheduled lunch break. The call was quick and helpful. The pharmacy which I listed as part of my initial registration was used for the prescription the physician would call in and much like visiting an urgent care center, I just needed to follow up with my regular physician once arriving back to town.
The benefits not only include saving time, but the co-payment for the telemedicine visit was less than a visit to urgent care and while we are being asked to use precautions in regard to going out in public, telemedicine can be a safe alternative to having to visit your local physician or hospital at this time if you can even be seen. Most urgent care centers have begun to close and hospitals have begun canceling regular procedures in order to only see individuals who need assistance with more chronic care.
The next few days are uncertain and as a first responder, I am trying to carefully manage my environment as best as possible.
I am presently NED, but I have asthma and other medical conditions which potentially put me at a higher risk of getting ill from the present virus going around and in a similar category to my fellow peers who are currently undergoing active treatment. I was to take leave next week to manage annual medical appointments for myself as well as enjoy a couple of days rest, but none of this might be possible due to my work obligations and my attempt to limit the contact I have with the general public outside of my work conditions.
To be proactive, I have also reached out to providers I was to see next week and for my daughter, her dermatologist will provide a telemedicine visit next week in lieu of a physical appointment which is a great accommodation while other appointments are being rescheduled if I am unable to complete needed evaluations with a telemedicine visit. Be well and use good judgment at this time to manage your medical care, but don't be afraid to ask and inquire about accommodations that can be made to support your overall well-being.