Virtual doctor visits help ease load on emergency rooms

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Telehealth can be used for different types of medical appointments

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – We’ve heard more and more about doctors using telehealth as a way to interact and have appointments with patients, Especially during this time of COVID-19. It’s a useful tool to keep people from coming in contact with others.

Telehealth can be used for different types of medical appointments, anything from a general check-up to potential symptoms of COVID-19. Its an appointment done over a computer or phone -using video chat, or it can be a regular phone call.

Dr. Olaoluwa Fayanju, senior medical director at Oak Street Health in Youngstown, says the remote visits can help divert people from an emergency room visit.

“I think most of those cases if we can avoid sending that person to an emergency room, we are taking the pressure off those docs in our emergency rooms and our ICUs, who are dealing with the most critically ill patients,” Fayanju said.

When it comes to COVID-19, you should use a virtual visit for mild symptoms, if you can. Fayanju said they manage those symptoms and prescribe medication through a virtual visit.

Telehealth isn’t just for COVID-19 concerns. If you need to manage a chronic illness or a general checkup, these can be done virtually, too.

Not all doctors and facilities offer telehealth, and it is not for everyone. Some who or not tech savvy or have challenges hearing or seeing may be nervous about it. Visits for those individuals may be better face to face.

Check with your healthcare provider and insurance plan to see how to sign up and receive virtual visits.

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