What is Telehealth?

Believe it or not, COVID-19 eventually led to some good things. Standing tall among those good things was the wider adoption of telehealth practices. But what is telehealth?

Telehealth in a Nutshell

Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, is the practice of healthcare services without an in-person visit. The ‘tele’ part of telehealth comes from the fact that these healthcare appointments are handled via modern telecommunications devices (smartphones, computers, tablets, etc).

Telehealth services can consist of:

  • Doctor appointments
  • Health monitoring services
  • Realtime messaging with healthcare professionals
  • Lab results with a doctor or nurse
  • Prescription fills & refills
  • Some diagnoses (note many conditions still require in-person visits)
  • Post-surgery or post-procedure check-ins
  • Mental health follow-ups & check-ins
  • Physical therapy & occupational therapy sessions (note some PT & OT needs to be in-person)

This is not a comprehensive list. These are just meant to showcase some common healthcare services offered by many providers.

What are the Benefits of Telehealth?

The advent of widespread telehealth practices has led to some great benefits. The ability for healthcare professionals to quickly address many regular visits virtually has sped up processing for many traditional healthcare appointments and checkups.

Telehealth offers many benefits for both patients and healthcare professionals, including:

  • No travel
  • Easy communication
  • Ability to ask questions and receive answers quickly
  • Realtime updates (reminders and information for healthcare regiments & changes)
  • No exposure to potentially hazardous conditions from a healthcare waiting room
  • Increased access to specialists
  • Shortened wait times

While all of these benefits help, the ability to talk to a specialist (especially if you live in a remote area) without the need to travel is a huge upgrade over traditional healthcare. Being able to talk to a specialist for an uncommon condition without the need for travel can save an enormous amount of both money and time.

How to Use Telehealth Services

Every healthcare provider will have different ways for patients to use telehealth services. That means the question of how to use the services must be answered by your doctor or healthcare provider.

An important note, however, is to make sure that telehealth services are covered by your insurance provider. Many insurance plans do not cover all instances of telehealth appointments, which can lead to some costly bills. If you are unsure, be sure to call your insurance provider and/or your healthcare provider and ask about billing and payment.

With that said, using telehealth services is simple. Most healthcare providers will direct you to a website or app you can sign up for and log into for all your telehealth needs. These apps are extremely user-friendly and easy to use. Many services will also offer tutorials or provide instructions on how to use their telehealth programs.

Be sure to follow all the instructions carefully and call your healthcare provider if anything strange comes up. Many telehealth apps & programs will contain sensitive healthcare information, so be sure to keep your data safe and ask for help if you need it.

TeleHealth Services at Oswald’s Pharmacy

Oswald’s has recently started offering telehealth prescription services! You can see the services we offer by visiting our telehealth page. You can also schedule a telehealth visit with a doctor or pharmacist to get your healthcare concerns addressed.

We’re open 7 days a week and our team can help answer any questions you have. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email.