Telemedicine is not new, but with the COVID-19 stay at home order many offices have recently implemented this convenient service. You can now experience your dermatology visit “virtual” from the comfort of your own home. Our aim is to keep patients informed of this new service and help you better understand what it’s like to have your first virtual appointment.
Something to consider is skin conditions like rashes and acne do not wait, neither does skin cancer. There is a real concern from the medical community that patients are delaying necessary appointments for fear of going out. Stress and anxiety levels have risen during all this uncertainty which can also exacerbate certain inflammatory skin problems. Acne, rosacea, or eczema are just a few examples, and putting off treatment can make things worse physically and psychologically.
Ignoring suspicious spots can have serious implications if not evaluated quickly. Especially if you have a history of pre-cancer or skin cancer.
How do you schedule your Telemedicine appointment?
• Scheduling is easy, requiring a phone call to the office like a normal in-office visit
• Determining the type of visit. Acne, rashes, nail fungus, and prescription refills can all benefit from Telederm appointments. Some conditions will still need to be evaluated in the office. If you need a biopsy for instance.
This is where people get tripped up on thinking the process is difficult and that’s simply not the case, it’s incredibly easy. There are different HIPAA Compliant Technologies and ours is already part of the electronic healthcare system we use. In fact, if you’re a patient of Cosmetic Surgery & Dermatology of Issaquah you may have already subscribed to the online portal giving you access to this feature. Here is how to get set-up:
• Access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Computers need a camera
• A link will be provided for the online portal or smartphone app
• Be sitting by your device at the appointment time
• 1,2,3………. that’s it!
• Do keep in mind, this is a medical appointment that will be billed to your insurance and if applicable a co-pay
What to Expect During Your Appointment
Now that you’ve set up your appointment, have registered for the portal, and questions have been answered from the support staff you are ready to go. You might be instructed to take photos of certain conditions prior to your appointment. This can be helpful to your healthcare practitioner as part of the evaluation process. It can also be helpful to select a room where you are comfortable without a bright sunny light. This can cast shadows making it difficult to see.
The positioning of the computer is also important, so your doctor has a full visual field. If you’re using a smartphone, you might need someone to help you hold the phone so any awkward area can be evaluated properly. Telederm appointments should last around the same time as a regular office visit so being set up properly is helpful for an effective visit. Post care instructions and if applicable prescriptions will be called in like a normal visit.
The Future of Telemedicine
Telehealth, telemedicine, and teledermatology are all one in the same “virtual” appointment and is becoming a standard of care. It’s easy to see the benefits for less urgent appointments done from the comfort of your own home without commutes, finding parking, or childcare. In the short time span of offering this in our office patients have been quick to jump on board, utilizing the service and happy they did so. There is no reason to worry about your skin condition trying to decide between feeling safe due to COVID-19 when you can manage your skin from the comfort of your own home.
To learn more about how to schedule an appointment visit our website at drmichalak.com or give us a call 425-391-2500.