Telehealth: the The Care You Need Made More Convenient

April 09, 2020

This article was reviewed by our Baystate Health team to ensure medical accuracy.

Glenn F. Alli, MD Glenn F. Alli, MD View Profile
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Telehealth visits allow you to stay in the safety and comfort of your home, while providing a real-time connection (similar to FaceTime or Skype) with your healthcare provider on a mobile device, phone or computer.

Modern Day House Calls

Baystate Health uses telemedicine technology to provide a “modern day house call” to patients with slightly less-than-routine healthcare needs.

According to Dr. Glenn Alli, “Telehealth provides a fast and convenient way to connect patients to their doctor for urgent care needs such as fever, cough, and skin rash, as well as management of chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure."

We use video chat so your provider can see and speak to you in real time. You get the benefit of seeing your provider without the time and trouble of going to the office.

Why choose telehealth

While the idea of dialing-for-a-doctor is new to some, telehealth is an established and growing global trend. In fact, even before the 2019 outbreak of coronavirus, the number of medical claims for telehealth services in the US increased by 624% between 2014 and 2018.

Here are just a few of the reasons for the growing demand:

  • Telemedicine saves time: The average telemedicine visit takes 13-15 minutes while the average in-person visit takes 2 hours, with the bulk of that time spent traveling to and from the office and waiting.
  • Telemedicine can save money: in some cases, telemedicine copays are the same or less those of an in-patient visit.
  • Telemedicine is easy to schedule: 79% of consumers perceived telemedicine as more convenient in terms of scheduling.
  • Telemedicine is convenient: 20% of consumers would prefer to have an immediate live video visit with a doctor for middle of the night care; 79% of those currently caring for an ill/aging relative would find video visits helpful for caring for their parent or relative.
  • Telemedicine keeps medicine personal: 66% of patients who participated in a 2019 survey reported feeling personally connected to their telehealth provider.

When should you use Telehealth?

Telehealth is ideal for existing patients of Baystate Health who have an urgent care need. Patients with emergency needs (think chest pains, broken bones, head injuries) should always call 911.

Some conditions for which telehealth makes sense include:

  • Cold, cough, sore throat, and flu
  • Fever, body aches, and chills (for adult patients 65 years and younger)
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinus infection (sinusitis)
  • Headache
  • Pink eye or itchy eyes
  • Painful urination
  • Skin rash/ mole check
  • Minor joint paints and sprains
  • Diarrhea/constipation/indigestion
  • Insect or tick bites
  • Shoulder and back strains
  • Seasonal allergies
  • STD/STI (sexually transmitted diseases and infections)
  • Vaginal infections

In addition, telehealth can also be used for ordering lab work for work or school, and ordering screening for cholesterol or diabetes.

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