Here a We ❤ Health Literacy Headquarters, we are big fans of both preventive health care and the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. So these days, dear readers, really ❤ telehealth. According to the CDC, 4 out of 10 American adults have avoided health care because of COVID-19. This is, well, worrisome! People need routine health care, pandemic or not, and telehealth allows them to get it without anxiety. too obtaining COVID on your visit.
As health communicators, we can teach our audience about telehealth and encourage them to give it a try. Start with a simple definition for beginners: Telehealth, sometimes called telemedicine or virtual touring, is basically remote healthcare. If you use a computer, phone, or tablet for a visit to the doctor, this is telehealth.
And while telehealth certainly can’t replace it all face-to-face visits are a great option for things like:
- Annual checkups with your primary care physician
- Dermatology visits
- Mental health advice
- Nutritional advice
- Follow-up visits to share test results
Once you’ve covered the basics, highlight some of the key benefits of telehealth:
- It is safer. Right now, the main selling point of telehealth is that it allows people to stay connected to care without the risk of suffering from COVID in a doctor’s office or hospital. Think of it as a social distancing, but with your doctor.
- It’s faster. When you cut the scroll, the waiting room, the second waiting room (eh, exam room), the visit becomes much shorter and much easier to fit into a busy schedule. And who ever said, “I’d like to spend more time sitting in the waiting rooms”? That is correct. No one!
- Increases access. Telehealth is especially useful for people who need to see a specialist but don’t live nearby, and it removes the barrier to transportation in general. Many telehealth providers also offer appointments outside of the doctor’s traditional office hours, making it easier for people to find schedules that work for them.
So encourage your audiences to ask if their doctors offer telehealth, and to check with their insurance companies to make sure it’s covered.
And finally, while the safety of COVID will not be so much an issue in the future (hopefully!), 2 of the above 3 benefits will remain in place long after the pandemic ends. Thus, while it is an excellent tool for keeping people connected to care during COVID, we believe that telehealth has come to stay.
Bottom line: Encourage your audience to explore telehealth, during COVID-19 and beyond.
Tweet about it: #Telesalud is a safe and effective way to get routine health care, during the pandemic and beyond. @CommunicateHlth has tips for explaining the benefits of telehealth to your audiences: https://bit.ly/3sAuk6F #communicateCOVID