The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly altered our world, but not all of these changes have been negative—stay-at-home orders and quarantines have led to the expansion of virtual visits. Also known as telehealth and telemedicine, virtual visits let patients consult with medical professionals from the safety and comfort of home using a smartphone, tablet, or a camera-enabled computer. This “face-to-face” meeting can give a clinician a solid idea of a patient’s condition and allows them to prescribe treatment without in-person contact.
As is the case with most things in life, though, virtual visits have their pros and cons. Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of telemedicine services (saving the good news for last!).
As evidenced by the exploding popularity of telemedicine, there are plenty of great benefits to virtual medical care. Here are just a few:
- Virtual visits make healthcare more accessible to patients without reliable transportation or who have trouble receiving in-person care due to physical disabilities or social phobias.
- The risk of catching or spreading a contagious illness in a traditional waiting room is eliminated.
- Telemedicine appointments are often more readily available and less expensive than in-person medical visits.
- Patients can save significant amounts of time and receive the medical guidance they need without taking off work or missing school.
- Perhaps the biggest benefit of all, patients who feel physically ill can stay in their pajamas and consult with a professional while relaxing on their couch or bed.
- Some providers, such as PhysicianOne Urgent Care, offer telemedicine during extended hours (we provide it 24/7!).
As convenient as virtual visits are, they do have their limitations. Here are a few notable cons of telemedicine services:
- Patients must have a smart device and a reliable internet connection, which isn’t always available in rural areas.
- Using the internet and smart devices can bring about technical difficulties, which some patients may not know how to solve.
- Medications such as antibiotics can be sent to the patient’s preferred pharmacy for pickup, but this will require a trip and a prescription may take a few hours to fill. (Conversely, some practices offer medication dispensing for in-person patients).
Telemedicine Services from PhysicianOne Urgent Care
PhysicianOne Urgent Care—an affiliate of Yale New Haven Health and Tufts Medical Center—is pleased to offer easy-to-navigate virtual visits to patients in communities throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. Our telemedicine services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are ideal for patients with general health questions or who have common, non-life-threatening medical concerns, such as:
- Cold or flu symptoms
- Heartburn or acid reflux
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Allergy symptoms
- Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
- Sinus pain and pressure
- Skin rashes
- Minor burns
- Ear infections
- Respiratory infections such as bronchitis
- Urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms
- Mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms
To schedule a virtual visit with PhysicianOne Urgent Care, simply click the red “Book a Virtual Visit” button at the top of this page, select your state, and pick a date and time that works best for you. Our team is here 24/7! We accept most major health insurance plans and offer sensible rates to self-pay patients. If you have any questions, give our friendly professionals a call at 860-650-3848.