One of the trends in medical practice is the use of virtual visits, telemedicine and virtual conversations with patients and their medical teams. These practices are beneficial to both patients and medical teams alike and help to lower cost and overhead while increasing efficiency. However, some practitioners have not taken advantage of some of the best practices for virtual visits and have instead adopted the status quo where they send a patient home with some form of care instructions on a separate note or communicate with the patient through a representative who is not trained in medicine, such as a nurse or clinic receptionist. This approach can result in poor communication between doctor and patient and even result in a delay in treatment that may be avoidable.
The first step towards creating better virtual care is for doctors and other staff to have a good understanding of what a virtual visit is and how it differs from a traditional visit. In a traditional visit, the patient is seen by one or more health care providers. They then describe their symptoms and medical history to each provider in detail so they can be compared. With a virtual visit, a patient gets all of this care through one conversation on a telephone, which is much more convenient than multiple phone calls. This is one of the best practices for virtual visits because it allows patients to get one-on-one care from a licensed professional, rather than getting information over the phone or via text message.
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