Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, most hospitals, doctor’s offices, and medical systems have begun offering telehealth consultations to keep patients safe by allowing the consultations to be conducted from their own homes. Usually, this is done through a specialized app on a smartphone, and sometimes through a personal home computer using the computer’s webcam and built-in microphone. Some people are concerned about their privacy when dealing with such new technologies. Here are a few answers to common questions about telehealth.
Telehealth is an innovation designed to allow those with less mobility, or with compromised immune systems, or those who are simply too sick to leave their homes safely, the opportunity to speak with a medical health professional, sometimes over the phone. More recently, telehealth has been updated to include specialized apps and consultations through the web, via webcams, or your phone’s camera. This not only saves you the time and hassle of traveling to a doctor’s office, but it frees up a doctor to do more consultations, doing more good overall.
Telehealth is very safe, provided you go through your hospital, your doctor, or your clinic, provided they are HIPAA-compliant. HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, is the act protecting your personal information from being disclosed to anyone outside of those treating you. Any good telehealth service or medical clinic will be HIPAA-compliant. This way, you can trust that, regardless of whomever you speak with, your information will be safe and only shared with the people who will be treating you and your condition.
The speed of a telehealth visit all depends on the condition you’re consulting about, but generally speaking, yes, telehealth is a much faster process than visiting the doctor in person. On top of this, you save gas money or public transit fare costs, and you don’t have to wait in a waiting room with other ill people. You sit in the comfort of your home and wait to be “let in,” and once you are, your consultation will go as quickly as necessary.
Telehealth can help people with all kinds of medical conditions and concerns, and that definitely includes sufferers of chronic pain. As in any doctor’s visit, you should be prepared to be frank and honest with your doctor and ask all the questions you have, so that you can be treated and advised properly. You may at some point require in-person follow-ups, if necessary and possible, but you can certainly conduct a chronic pain consultation through telehealth.
Through a trusted source, telehealth can be a perfectly safe option for consulting on your chronic pain. Consulting with a doctor, especially with the kind of pain that is difficult to review or show on many types of medical tests, is actually ideal through telehealth. You should feel confident and safe, especially when offered a HIPAA-compliant telehealth consultation for your chronic pain.