Covid-19 is changing the way healthcare is delivered as we know it. Perhaps it has helped expedite the utilization of delivery systems that will positively affect medically fragile children and those with various other disabilities. Time will tell.
Telemedicine started in the 1950s when hospital systems and university medical centers were looking for ways to reach specialists for better patient diagnosis and treatment, and to be able to collaborate with patient and doctors for better health outcomes, when distance was an issue.
The Three Ps – Plan, Prepare, Participate – of Telehealth
- Check your insurance provider’s website or call the customer service number on your card to see how your provider handles telehealth calls. You can also check your employee HR department or employee website. Costs may vary.
- Your health information will be safe/private since you are talking to a health care provider it is covered by HIPAA law. Information stays with the provider and can only be shared with your insurer for the purpose of payment. Information may be recorded in an electronic medical record.
- Make a list before the call of your symptoms, start date and severity
- Make s list of your baseline medical data – example – glucose numbers if you are a diabetic, blood pressures, past surgeries, chronic conditions, family history of disease specific conditions.
- Prepare a list of current medications and duration of time prescribed.
- Make a list of allergies.
- The good news is that if your start a notebook with this information and keep it current it will be very useful for in person appointments as well.
- Have your pharmacy phone and address available.
- Check with your health care provider to see what electronic platform they will be using, zoom, Skype or do you need to download a specific app. Do that in advance. Navigate through it so you cqn call ahead if you need technical help.
- Make sure your phone, computer or tablet are fully charged.
- Check your camera for clarity and position.
- Find a quiet space where you will not be interrupted. Remind family members ahead of time about the importance of the call to keep space quiet and prevent interruptions. Post a note on the door so family members do not interrupt.
- Have note taking method available.
- You are ready for your Call
- Speak slowly and clearly with only the pertinent details.
- ACTIVELY listen and check for understanding.
- Ask Questions if you do not understand
- Ask for and record next steps and follow up from this visit.
- What’s the Difference Between Telehealth and Telemedicine? - PACER Center Infographic
- The Midwest Genetics Network has created 4 videos for families by families to learn and be better prepared for telemedicine opportunities when they are available and to advocate for the opportunity when it is the best choice for your family.