Telenephrology – Telemedicine is not as new as you might think. It got its start in the late 1950s and was originally conceived as a way for doctors to reach patients in remote areas. Many people live in places where reaching a doctor isn’t a simple matter.
Having a way to connect with a doctor who knows your medical history is essential. If it’s not easy or even possible to go to see your doctor for a personal visit, Telemedicine can be the pathway to better health. Due to the Corona Virus, many people have been quarantined, especially those who have compromised health issues. Kidney disease is a serious illness. If you are someone facing this health issue, staying home, and not subjecting yourself to exposure to the virus, is of utmost importance.
Nephrologists, specialists, and, in fact, most doctors are using Telemedicine more than ever and not just to reach patients in remote locations but for patients who find it safer, smarter, and more economical to “see” them virtually. Now, with the constant improvements in technology, a doctor can meet virtually with patients by connecting through services like Zoom and Skype, or even Facetime. The doctor will be in his/her office, with the patient in the safety and comfort of their own home, saving time and money for both.
Today, medical offices are having to spread outpatient visits so that vigorous cleaning can be done between visits. Masks need to be worn by both Doc and the patient. When utilizing telenephrology, a doctor can see more patients and/or spend more time with each patient. Doctors can offer their services conveniently for any hours they choose. Suppose you are experiencing an issue that you feel may need immediate attention and need to quickly see a doctor. In that case, Telemedicine can likely get face-to-face with your doctor.
How Will Your Nephrologists Work with You Via Telemedicine
Unfortunately, chronic kidney disease is on the rise in the United States. If you are having issues with your kidneys, you will need to have a Nephrologist on your medical team. It’s best if your nephrologist works with your primary doctor to create proper plans for your health.
Testing for kidney issues has improved dramatically. Testing has exposed the fact that a higher number of people need help with this disease. It’s added to the already heavy burden on the health care system. Dealing with the Corona Virus has been an enormous strain on our hospitals, doctors, nurses, and others in the medical field. Keeping patients with existing chronic medical conditions is an added factor. The less personal contact, the better so more people are opting to meet their nephrologists and their primary doctors virtually through Telemedicine, which also collaborates with both the specialist and the primary doctor.
An element of Telenephrology is the use of websites or apps which allow your family physician to upload important data regarding your kidney disease for your nephrologist into the software. The nephrologist will then use that information to help create a plan or keep a new patient as healthy as possible.
Saving Time and Money
On average, a telenephrology consultation takes less than 10 minutes. No receptionist or nurse is needed in these sessions, thus saving on office expenses. Scheduling is often done online or with a scheduling app. The doctor-patient relationship is more of a one-on-one experience. This conversation only involves the doctor and the patient without the need for the whole office visit experience. Short check-ins like this can happen more often so that the doctor can stay up to date with their patient’s condition. Knowing what a patient with kidney disease is experiencing on a more regular basis without the burden of time-consuming office business can significantly improve patient care.
These visits are shorter, and to the point, so they are often more productive. The goal is to improve the health and, ultimately, the survival of patients. Insurance costs are less with Telemedicine. These kinds of visits are generally less expensive, which can help patients who are paying for some of their health care out of pocket.
Most people will say that they do not enjoy their visits to their nephrologists or other doctors. Sitting in an office, waiting nervously for your name to be called, now wearing a mask in most cases, is no picnic. If you have never experienced Telemedicine or telenephrology, ask your doctors if they offer this alternative to in-office visits.
If you seek a consultation with a nephrologist and would like to consider a telemedicine experience, PRINE Health would be happy to set up a consultation for you.