Dr. Molly Vosburgh at Medical Associates of Northern New Mexico chats with a patient during a telemedicine appointment. Photo Courtesy MANNM
Many physician practices are switching to telemedicine during these times of social isolation and distancing. Here are a few common questions answered by Medical Associates of Northern New Mexico ( MANNM) who are now offering telemedicine appointments for their patients.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine is a way to visit your medical provider without having to go to their office by using telecommunications technology (Phone/ desktop computer). It is an excellent way to keep your appointments from the comfort of your own home, without having to step into the medical office, during these turbulent times.
What equipment do I need for telemedicine?
MANNM is using the doxy.me platform.
All you need is a smartphone- Apple / Android or a computer with a camera and microphone, Chrome/Firefox browser. A good internet connection is recommended .
Your provider sends you a link at your appointment time to your phone or email address to start your visit. You will have to allow your browser/phone to use your camera and microphone and wait in the “virtual waiting room” for your doctor to “see you”.
Here is a helpful video link to see how the process works.
I am not tech savvy. Is this right for me?
This is a very simple platform that anyone can use. You can have your family member in the house be present as well. Patients love it since they are in the comfort of their home. Providers love it as they get to see the patients in their surroundings. We love to see the kitchens, vigas, sunrooms and studies. It makes us feel connected to our patients as “people”.
What conditions can be treated with telemedicine?
Almost all routine conditions can be addressed with telemedicine except for physical exams. You can ask for a video visit for all the conditions you had made any appointment for, including lab follow ups, medication refills, allergies, UTIs, follow up of your diabetes and blood pressure etc. Your provider may ask you to come in if a condition needs a more detailed exam or a procedure. Most insurances are now covering telemedicine under the current circumstances.
Should I keep my appointments?
You do need to take care of all aspects of your health during this pandemic. Patients with underlying conditions have been shown to be affected more by the coronavirus, should you catch it. It is thus very important to partner with your health care provider to carefully manage your health. We strongly urge you not to postpone care since the duration of the closure remains uncertain at this time. We encourage you to take advantage of the ease of telemedicine and increased availability of appointments at this time.
Additionally, MANNM and most healthcare clinics in Los Alamos are small businesses too and provide employment to a hard working group of people who are working on the frontlines for you. Your visits will help keep them employed in the profession they love.
Grateful to and working for- YOU
Your Healthcare partners at MANNM