Why Virtual Health: A New and Improved Way to Deliver Quality Care

by Nilda Lopez, MD

Virtual anything has become increasingly popular. We see this with conference calls, shared streaming and even with babysitting! It started before the pandemic, but COVID-19 has turned some virtual experiences into a necessity. Especially in the healthcare sector where patient safety is a priority.

Virtual care helps us practice social distancing, decrease person-to-person contact, reduce risk of exposure, and ensure safe, high-quality care for our patients. But that’s not all. There are many other benefits of utilizing a telehealth experience.

Virtual Health visits are convenient.

More and more doctors have turned to Virtual Health visits. As physicians, we appreciate having the convenience to continue to examine patients and to provide quality care.

Our patients enjoy Virtual Health because they can easily access it through an app or call from their phone. As a patient, whether you are at work or home, you can take a fifteen-minute break for a quality virtual health appointment. And if you need behavioral health services, that’s easy too. You can make an appointment to speak to a counselor to get treatment.

Virtual Health visits offer affordable, high-quality care.

Additionally, as many people closely watch their budgets during the coronavirus pandemic, virtual doctor visits provide an affordable alternative to in-person office visits. Our patients enjoy the technology improvements and the user-friendly experience of Virtual Health. Even virtually, we are still able to provide quality care.

Insurance and Medicare/Medicaid reimburse for Virtual Health appointments. The government has recognized how important virtual care is and the vital role it plays.

Pediatric patients love Virtual Health.

I am finding that Virtual Health visits are enjoyable for many of my patients, even my pediatric patients. The children get excited when their parents put them on the camera and they see me. It’s an exciting time for them, especially during the quarantine. Everyone’s happy for the doctor’s visits!

Virtual Health visits for coronavirus.

We have been able to examine patients who suspect they have coronavirus through Virtual Health visits. First, the patient will call to schedule an appointment with our front desk. Then, during the Virtual Health appointment, the provider will examine the patient over the computer or the phone. If the provider determines the patient needs a coronavirus test, the patient can come to our drive-thru testing center at the clinic. When patients arrive, they don’t even need to step out of their vehicles. We provide effective quality care without having direct contact. Our testing procedures help us practice social distancing and protect both our patients and our staff.

Still skeptical?

Many people were skeptical of virtual healthcare appointments at first, but most patients and providers now appreciate the benefits. Patients are beginning to see that they can have a doctor’s visit without having to take time off from work. Through Virtual Health, many patients can see their provider and still work an entire eight-hour day.

What if…

But what if there’s a problem that requires an in-person visit? If, during a Virtual Health visit, I see that something is not right (i.e., a patient with heart failure or uncontrolled diabetes), I will set a time for the patient to come to the clinic.

Thanks to virtual appointments, we have few people in our waiting areas, and we can get patients with issues in very quickly. The wait time is much shorter. Further, we have taken measures to decrease patients’ exposure to COVID-19. We have spaced out appointments, so we don’t have many patients in the clinic at the same time. We work to get our patients in and out.

We care about our patients.

We care about our patients, and Virtual Health helps us ensure you are getting safe, quality care. If you are healthy and need a checkup, we will offer you a virtual visit. This has worked well for all of our patients, from pediatric to geriatric patients.

Even specialty care, such as pulmonary care, is transitioning to Virtual Health. When I refer a patient to a cardiologist, often, the initial encounter is a virtual appointment; however, the patient may be asked to visit the office if needed. Reducing face-to-face appointments keeps patients safe and reduces the risk of exposure as a result of visiting several different doctors during this pandemic.

Virtual Health is the new normal.

During this time of coronavirus, Virtual Health has become the new normal. As providers, we have embraced Virtual Health, and we’re finding our patients love it too.

Please call the office to schedule a Virtual Health visit if you:

  • Are having any medical issues
  • Feel that you have come in contact with the coronavirus
  • Are feeling anxious or depressed

Get all those issues addressed. With Virtual Health, there is no need for you to wait until your condition worsens.

Virtual Health visits are here to stay, and it’s ok. Don’t delay. If you’re not feeling well, schedule a quality care Virtual Health visit, and get it taken care of right away.

Your health comes first.

Dr. Lopez is a Family Medicine physician at the Questcare Medical Clinic in Coppell, TX.