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Read our message to patients about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

When Should You Schedule An Online Doctor's Appointment?

April 28, 2020

Online doctor’s appointments and telephone patient care opportunities are two innovations your healthcare provider may use to meet your needs. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of having these nontraditional methods as available options. But as convenient as they are, online doctor appointments (or telehealth) aren’t always appropriate. 

When Online Doctor Appointments Are Appropriate

When you call your doctor’s office, you will be offered one of three appointment types based on your healthcare needs. The staff will help determine which is best for you.

  1. In-Person: An office visit is best if you need an in-person assessment, treatment or procedure. 
  2. Online (Video): A telehealth visit uses one of many publicly available telephone or computer apps. An internet connection is required.  Telehealth appointments give your doctor the chance to get a visual look at you. By seeing you, your doctor will be able to make a better evaluation of your status. This is preferred for new illnesses and consultations that may not require an in-person office visit. Your doctor may recommend a telehealth appointment to follow up with you, too. 
  3. By Phone: A telephone-only visit can be used when you want to speak with your provider but may not have a phone with virtual capabilities and/or internet connection. This may be for the management of some chronic conditions and some types of illnesses.

Patient Safety Is A Priority

North Ohio Heart and Ohio Medical Group are following all federal and state regulations associated with current telehealth practices to ensure patient safety and privacy. All of our patient care options place the health and safety of our patients and caregivers as a top priority.

For all visit types above, a charge will be submitted to your insurance company per usual business practices.

When Should You Go To The Emergency Department?

You should visit the emergency department for immediate treatment of life-threatening injuries or illnesses and other critical conditions. EDs are open 24/7. They’re your best option for things like chest pain, shortness of breath, major burns and severe injuries.

Staying Healthy At Home

Between your appointments, it’s also important to stay healthy at home by following these guidelines:

  • Keep taking medications exactly as prescribed. Any changes that have not been recommended by your doctor may put you at a higher risk of worsening your heart or vascular condition. Call your doctor’s office if you have questions, concerns or difficulty getting prescription refills.
  • Find a balance between being active and resting. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
  • Eat a healthy diet regularly. Incorporate whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Avoid too much sugar, caffeine and processed foods.
  • Wash your hands properly, following the CDC hand-washing guidelines. Avoid touching your face, and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow.

North Ohio Heart and Ohio Medical Group are committed to providing the highest quality and professional care to our patients and families – whether in-person or in the virtual office. Certainly, in-person office visits are still available for those for when a telehealth visit is not appropriate. 

If you need to speak with your doctor but would prefer to do so from the safety and convenience of your home, please call their office and request an audio-visual telehealth appointment or telephone care appointment today. 

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