The Role of Connectivity in Telehealth Services
What was once an optional convenience for a select few hospitals and medical facilities across the nation has now become a necessary tool in the battle against COVID-19 (coronavirus). Telehealth uses a variety of telecommunication services to connect patients with medical services and professionals. As doctors and front-line medical experts treat those affected by the global pandemic, telehealth is one of the first tools used in the diagnosis process. Without high-speed Internet and a trustworthy connection, this medical service wouldn’t be possible.
Benefits of Telehealth
Medical experts recommend a virtual screening via telehealth if you feel you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Several South Carolina health systems have designed COVID-19 telehealth options to allow individuals virtual appointments. Through the use of video conferencing, remote monitoring, and electronic consults, individuals can access a physician or health specialist at the right time without putting others at risk.
The telehealth service can help your doctor determine if you should go to the hospital for treatment or if you can self-monitor symptoms while staying at home to rest. To utilize the video conferencing telehealth options from local and state health care facilities, you’ll need access to Internet service and a phone, tablet or computer with video availability.
Before making the connection, use these tips to make the most of your telehealth visit:
- Before you call, write down your symptoms. Note your temperature and any medicine you’ve taken while exhibiting symptoms.
- Recall your most recent travel experiences. Your doctor may ask if you’ve traveled out of the country or to COVID-19 “hotspots” across the nation. Be prepared to answer those questions to help in the diagnosis process.
- Be prepared with your medical questions. Many individuals are using the telehealth platforms, so keep your call as short as possible by asking medical questions. Avoid the, “When do you think the pandemic will end?” or “Should we cancel the family reunion this summer?” questions. There are a number of free resources, like the DHEC website, Tidelands Health coronavirus page and the Grand Strand Health coronavirus resource hub to address your reasonable but nonmedical questions.
Connectivity and your Health
It’s the responsibility of our entire community to protect the most vulnerable to this disease and support our local health care workers by staying at home. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced a Home or Work Order, mandating residents stay home unless they’re partaking in a necessary act of travel, like purchasing groceries or going to the doctor.
Connectivity like wireless services, high-speed Internet, and home phone access makes telehealth services possible. Before putting yourself and others at an unnecessary risk by visiting your doctor’s office, use a telehealth service to connect with a physician and take advantage of virtual screenings.