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With the outbreak of COVID-19 healthcare workers and providers have had to come up with better ways to diagnose and treat patients. The number of patients who need to be seen for health issues both related to and peripheral to the coronavirus has put a strain on our hospitals. It is in this environment that Telemedicine has found its spotlight. Telemedicine or Virtual Health Care is the practice of performing virtual appointments and check-ups for patients. Especially now, this keeps both patients and healthcare workers safe while continuing to provide care for those in need. This is only the beginning of how virtual health is saving lives during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Virtual healthcare has slowly been taking hold as more and more of the norm in recent years. The cost savings alone make virtual care the right choice for many doctors, hospitals, and patients. $7 billion of physicians’ time can be saved by switching in-person visits to virtual appointments.
These days, in quarantine, many people need the ability to have their doctor’s appointments at home. Even during the best of times, for many, convenience is key to successful follow-up appointments and check-ins. Telemedicine allows for a safe environment to ask questions, get simple diagnoses, and get prescriptions from your doctor while remaining at home.
Doctors around the country have implemented telemedicine and online appointments to help keep all patients safe from COVID-19. Patients with a smartphone or computer can visit a provider in a secure network. Dr. Chris Davis, Medical Director for UCHealth’s Virtual Urgent Care says, “COVID-19 is quite infectious, so if you can stay home and get medical advice, that gives you two advantages. First, if you’re sick, you’re not going to be bringing your illness into a doctor’s office or a hospital. Second, you won’t be exposed to other patients.”
These changes to what we have thought of as normal healthcare have given people affordable, manageable options to care for themselves and others throughout this uncertain time. As we work to navigate COVID-19, the best thing we can do is keep ourselves and others safe from harm by ensuring we do everything we can to stop the spread.