Although it’s quickly gaining ground globally, telemedicine dates back to the late ’60s and early ’70s, mostly found in the space and military industries. Now it’s used around the country to make health care more convenient. Feeling under the weather and too busy to visit the doctor for a prescription? Depending on your condition, if you think you might need a prescription, consider booking an online appointment through a telehealth platform. Doctor appointments can be an inconvenient and time-consuming process, especially for people with transportation and time restrictions. Remote visits help alleviate some of this burden.
Telemedicine, or the practice of using information and communication technology to deliver health care remotely, gives patients an effective way to get diagnosed and treated for common injuries and illnesses. It’s an excellent option for when you’re unable to see your primary care doctor or if you run out of your medicine while traveling. Let’s explore how people can avoid the waiting room and safely get a prescription.
Telemedicine appointments, or virtual visits, are much like your typical appointment. Instead of sitting in an examining room, though, you sit in front of a camera where you’ll be able to see yourself and your doctor on the screen. All you need is a mobile device or a computer with a webcam.
Most platforms require visitors to complete a brief health questionnaire when they first register an account. The questionnaire covers questions about the patient’s medical and drug history. After completing the questionnaire, expect to wait about 30 minutes to receive a call from the doctor.
During the appointment, the medical practitioner will guide you through a series of questions about your condition or symptoms. Based on the consultation, the doctor will either suggest at-home care strategies or prescribe medication. Remember, even though telemedicine is widespread, state government rules dictate what care a patient can receive online. The American Telemedicine Association offers a comprehensive report that details what each state’s telemedicine policies.
The prescription process
After getting diagnosed from your online physician, you might meet the criteria to be prescribed medicine to treat your illness at home. The procedure to get a prescription online is usually the same as speaking to a doctor in person at the office.
- The doctor writes a digital prescription and sends it directly to the pharmacy of your choice. Mail-order pharmacies, retail pharmacies, and pharmacies inside doctors’ offices can all receive digital prescriptions.
- The pharmacist will check to make sure your insurance plans cover the medication your doctor prescribed. If your insurance plan doesn’t cover the prescription, then your pharmacist will either give you a different medication or offer you a more affordable one that offers the same benefits and effects of the originally prescribed medication.
- Ultimately, the patient decides what medicine to use based on cost, the doctor’s suggestions and other personal factors. First, discuss your options with your doctor to determine what choice would be the most beneficial for your health while remaining within your budget.
- Once you’ve made your choice, you can pick up your prescription from the pharmacy. Remember some pharmacies are unaware of how much you’ll pay until they ring up your purchase at the register. Also, some pharmacists and doctors offer the convenience of shipping medicine directly to your home.
The internet has revolutionized the way people live modern life. Now, thanks to the progression made through telehealth, patients have access to more tools than before to manage their health. So the next time you find yourself strapped for time, consider booking an online appointment.