TELEHEALTH by Eric Hansen, D.O. During the pandemic, did you know that telehealth is how some physicians managed to provide consistent care to patients, and even as COVID-19 subsides, telehealth is an option for those with certain kinds of health concerns or for whom logistically it makes more sense? While the field is relatively new, the conditions brought on by COVID-19 have increased awareness about telehealth. The key is making sure you have a physician who is experienced with telehealth and has integrated appropriate software into their practice that is easy to use. What are some of the issues that can be handled by a primary care physician who offers telehealth? Patients can be screened for a variety of conditions, and a camera can be used to look at concerning wounds, scrapes or moles. Communicating about medication management for long-term health conditions. Support for patients who need help with nutrition counseling for Type-2 diabetes. Offering suggestions for physical and occupational therapies for patients recovering from surgery or other acute medical situations. Working with patients to check blood pressure or blood glucose measurements. Assessing care requirements by consulting with patients and their caregivers about potential medical emergencies. Patients are finding telehealth to be a beneficial option because it’s one more way they can reach out to their physician and physician’s staff and have their issues addressed in a timely manner. Just as technology has helped modernize and improve many aspects of life, technology has the ability to improve the quality of health care by making it available to more people and by enhancing health care efficiency. Telehealth support for people with heart disease or other conditions may decrease hospital visits and otherwise improve quality of life. A telehealth challenge can be maintaining communication if a patient does not have Internet access, but your primary care physician can recommend other ways to offer care including by phone. Telehealth is not a replacement for medical care, and your primary care doctor will tell you it’s not a substitute for seeing the patient. For patients who haven’t been to the doctor in a year, it’s even more important to see your doctor in person. But telehealth can be an effective supplement to routine visits. For more information about telehealth, please contact Doctor Eric Hansen at (760) 947-0727 or visit www.ChoiceMG.com .