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What You Need to Know about Telehealth

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Did you know that Alice Hyde Medical Center currently has 22 providers in its telehealth program? These providers are connecting with patients remotely, using technology that can help members of our community get the health care services they need to stay healthy, manage chronic conditions, or get the help they need for emerging medical needs.

Whether you already have a primary care provider, need to get enrolled with one, or need specialty services such as endocrinology, orthopedics or rehabilitation, an Alice Hyde provider can be there for you and is just a phone call or video chat away.

What is Telehealth?

Using audio and video technology and an internet connection, patients can meet with their provider using their desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet, or smart phone.

Telehealth allows providers and patients to connect through video conferencing or telephone calls and hold secure, convenient appointments that save travel time and help avoid unnecessary travel and hospital visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What Equipment do I Need?

It depends on what telehealth platform your provider is using. Many patients at Alice Hyde simply need to request a telehealth visit through their Primary Care Provider’s office. The office will then send the patient a text or an email with a link that will open a video chat at the patient’s scheduled appointment time.

Some Alice Hyde providers are using telehealth platforms that require patients to download an application on their smartphone, computer or tablet.

Please contact your provider’s office to learn more about how they are using telehealth technology.

Why Should I Use Telehealth?

It’s not always easy or convenient for patients to connect face-to-face with their primary care provider – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when hospitals across the country, including Alice Hyde, are restricting visitation and reducing office visits to help protect patients and health care workers.

It is important to strike a balance between keeping patients and health care workers safe during the pandemic, and ensuring members of our community have access to the care they need to manage chronic conditions and address emerging health problems before they become acute medical needs.

While we are rolling out Alice Hyde’s Telehealth initiative during this pandemic, we’ve been working on this project for some time now, and are excited about what the service means for our patients and community both now and in the future. The purpose of Telehealth is to improve patients’ ability to get health care closer to home, and to cut down on wait times, travel times and time away from work or other priorities.

How Do I Know if Telehealth is Right for Me?

The best way to learn if telehealth is appropriate for your needs is to speak with your Primary Care Provider’s office. Telehealth can help you and your provider manage pre-existing or chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, coronary disease, CHF, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and many mental health issues including anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder.

Alice Hyde providers will evaluate whether telehealth is right for you on a case-by-case basis, and every patient’s situation is unique. Please contact your provider’s office and work with them to determine whether telehealth is right for you.

Is Telehealth Safe?

Telehealth is a safe and effective way to get many types of health care. Millions of people around the world use telemedicine to remain healthy and out of hospitals and emergency rooms. Telehealth may not be appropriate for all clinical situations, and your health care provider can help you determine if telehealth is appropriate for your needs on a case-by-case basis.

Guidelines exist for telehealth services to ensure safety and quality, and clinicians are held to the same standards of care when hosting a telehealth visit s they are during an in-person visit. Additionally, patients can expect the same standards for privacy and confidentiality when using telehealth. If you would like to learn more about standards and practices around telehealth, you can visit this link: http://thesource.americantelemed.org/resources/telemedicine-practice-guidelines

How Can I Get Access to Telehealth Services?

Alice Hyde is working hard to expand telehealth services to as many providers as possible. Patients should call their health care provider’s office to inquire about telehealth services that may be available.

Click here to for a complete list of providers who offer Telehealth.

Will My Health Plan Pay for Telehealth Services?

Every insurer is unique, and patients should contact their carrier for clarity on their financial responsibility regarding telehealth appointments and services.

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