Due to the pandemic, telemedicine appointments are being used to diagnose and treat a wider range of symptoms and illnesses than ever before. Patients who fall into the high-risk category for developing serious complications when exposed to infection as well as those who require ongoing routine visits for managing certain illnesses often rely on telemedicine to stay connected to their physicians and receive proper care. Before each appointment, here is what you will need to maximize your time spent with your medical team and receive the most effective treatment plan for your healthcare needs.
Medical Records & Completed Clinic Forms
The first thing your physician will need before the appointment is a medical history to review. This may include new forms to fill out or requesting records to be sent over from another medical clinic. New forms are typically obtained via post mail, email, or a download, depending on your medical clinic's procedures. Keep in mind some forms will need to be printed in order to fill them out. Therefore, it is a good idea to prepare your documents a couple of days ahead of your appointment. When you are ready to send your completed documents to the clinic, you may want to use a scanning app to properly upload and share your forms.
In addition to your health history, your physician will likely want to know your weight within a few hours of your appointment. This information is part of the data you can provide during your telemedicine visit. By noting your weight, your doctor will be able to determine if there has been a drastic change between visits. Additionally, weight can play a role in a number of illnesses and may help indicate a test is needed to rule out commonly related health concerns. This is especially critical to note when there has been a significant change within a short period of time or a noticeable change despite no known lifestyle alterations, such as changes in your diet. Therefore, if you do not own a weight scale, you may want to purchase one in advance of your appointment and weigh yourself a few times for a baseline due to weight scales being callibrated slightly differently as well as within a few hours of your call.
Readings from Monitoring Devices
Of course, weight is not the only indicator of health changes. For that reason, your physician may request data from these three monitoring devices:
- Pulse Oximeters - A pulse oximeter is used to measure the oxygen level in your blood. This is a small lightweight device that is placed over your finger, toe, or earlobe and painlessly records your blood oxygen levels via infrared readings of changes in light absorption of your oxygenated and deoxygenated blood. Physicians often use pulse oximeters in hospitals and emergency care units. However, certain medical conditions or medicines may impact your blood oxygen level. As a result, your physician may request you use a pulse oximeter at home to closely monitor any changes and discuss the readings in your routine visits.
- Blood Pressure Cuffs - Blood pressure is another indicator of health changes as high blood pressure has been linked with a number of potentially serious medical conditions including strokes, heart failure, heart attacks, vision loss, or kidney disease. Conversely, low blood pressure has also been found to be linked with a wide array of potential health hazards, including dehydration, pregnancy, certain heart conditions, or a medicine imbalance. Thus, a blood pressure reading is one of the routine measurements your physician may require for each telemedicine appointment as well as in between visits for monitoring purposes.
- Thermometers - There are multiple types of thermometers from non-touch infrared models to traditional styles that are usually placed under the tongue with lips closed for a tight seal or in a closed armpit. No matter which type you purchase, be sure to test the normal readings to learn about the accuracy of the device and provide a baseline while no fever is present. This way, during your telemedicine visit, you will be able to show your readings for any detected fevers to your physician with more confidence.
If you suffer from a cold, asthma, or a pulminary-related disease, your physician could ask someone in your home to listen to your lungs for abnormal sounds using a stethoscope. Such sounds could be a sign of distress or provide important information while making a diagnosis and treatment plan regarding other symptoms you have reported.
Where to Buy Your Health Monitoring Supplies
Once your appointment has been scheduled, you are ready to purchase any monitoring devices listed above that your physician may request to help him or her make a more accurate diagnosis and to assist with ongoing monitoring for certain medical conditions and treatments. Your physician may also recommend additional items in order to maximize your time during your telemedicine appointment. If you live in the Roswell, Georgia area, you will be able to pick up all the top-recommended health monitoring supplies in one stop via in-store shopping at Northside Medical Supply or call us at (770) 425-7718 to place your contactless curbside pickup order today.