Telemedicine is Here to Stay, and It’s a Big Time Saver
If there’s one silver lining to the pandemic, it might be the normalization of telemedicine.
Telemedicine has helped me spend less time ill and more time on living life, and I love that University of Michigan Health-West has adopted this program for its patients as well.
I am a chronic sinus infection sufferer and for years I regularly had to fight crushing headaches and full body aches to drive to my primary care physician for help. (Or coordinate a ride from a friend or family member.)
Now, though, my doc knows my sinus infection history and schedules televisits whenever another infection hits.
Like my primary care physician, U M Health-West places primary importance on in-person visits, but recognizes the benefits of telemedicine.
“We always prefer to see our patients in person when possible and offer same day appointments for convenience,” says Dr. Megan Coleman, Pediatrician, University of Michigan Health-West.
“As pediatricians we use video visits for things like ADHD, depression check-ins and medication management.”
Here’s how telemedicine works at University of Michigan Health West.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is basically seeing your doctor via video chat. You meet with your actual care provider through a secure video line, allowing you to receive care and advice long distance.
You see each other face to face and can communicate without the commute or the risk of spreading illness to your provider.
Virtual visits require a good phone or internet connection and quality video.
What are the Benefits of Telemedicine at U M Health-West?
1 – Attend Appointments from Anywhere in Michigan – Even if You’re Out of Town.
Virtual visits are lauded for their flexibility. And when you just need something like to check in for a prescription refill, it’s really nice to not have to add the extra drive time to your appointment.
Telemedicine is helpful for kids who might need to refill ADHD prescriptions or parents who need to talk to their provider about their depression meds.
I’ve met with my doc virtually from our vacation home hours away, from the school pickup line, and even from bed when I couldn’t get out. As long as you’re somewhere in Michigan, you can schedule a telemedicine visit.
2 – Visits are Secure.
U M Health-West has a very secure portal for these appointments, and only your physician can access the call and your medical records.
How it Telemedicine Works at U M Health-West
1 – Be a patient at U M Health-West. It’s Super Easy!
Telemedicine is available to all U M Health-West patients.
Not a patient? You can register to become a patient through the MyChart app.
Have you heard of MyChart? It’s a very popular health records app used by many practitioners. Depending on which providers participate, you can even access your children’s records, all in one place.
2 – Schedule an appointment.
Contact your provider through MyChart or call them directly to set up an appointment. They can tell you if your need qualifies for a virtual or in person session.
3 – Attend your Telemedicine Appointment – From Just About Anywhere!
You will receive a link to start your virtual appointment. You do not need an app or special equipment. The link can be opened on your computer or smartphone via any web browser.
(Note: make sure you authorize camera access for this visit. You will usually get a pop up asking for permission to use your camera so your physician may see you.)
More Common Questions about Telemedicine with U M Health-West
1 – What is the cost for a virtual visit?
Virtual visits cost the same as in-person visits and insurance is billed the same.
2 – Can I just do a phone call instead of a video call if I don’t look presentable?
Virtual visits require that the doctor see you, just like an in-person visit. Don’t worry about how you look because your provider has likely seen it all. Besides, you’re calling in because you’re sick – you’re not expected to look glamorous.
Telemedicine is a great tool for your health care, so don’t be afraid to use it for qualifying appointments with U M Health-West.
University of Michigan Health – West
Multiple locations across West Michigan.