Telemedicine is the new, improved way of doing a check-up or doctors visit. The days of making a doctor’s appointment in advance just to sit in a waiting room and spend an hour or more of your time at the office is over. Telemedicine allows you to discuss medical issues, symptoms and more with a healthcare provider in real time. You can receive a diagnosis, learn your treatment options and get a prescription with just a short phone call, video chat or email.

Accessible healthcare is a driving force behind the growth of telemedicine. A patient may live in a remote area or have a busy schedule that doesn’t allow time to visit a physician. It can also benefit you financially since access to telemedicine can reduce the need to visit the emergency room. The average doctor’s visit is $149 and the average trip to the emergency room is $1,734. According to a 2017 study, the average telemedicine visit costs $79.

As telemedicine becomes more popular, many health insurance plans are beginning to offer coverage for telemedicine visits. Before using telemedicine, it’s best to check with your specific plan’s benefits to know your financial obligation.

These four tips will help you have an effortless telemedicine visit:  

Prepare For Your Telemedicine Appointment

Write down your symptoms, medications you’re taking and questions you want to ask. Check your technology.

Find a Quiet Space to Conduct Your Appointment

Make sure you are somewhere you can hear the doctor and allow yourself some time before the call to get settled and collect your thoughts.

Tell Your Doctor Everything

Go into detail about your condition and explain concerns, as well as any changes in your medical history. Provide any vital signs that may be helpful such as temperature.

Agree On a Plan of Action

Ask questions about any prescribed medications, insurance, price and agree on a treatment. Take notes and ask about any follow-up visits.

Telemedicine can make healthcare more accessible and affordable but that doesn’t mean that you’ll never step foot in a doctor’s office again. Remember, telemedicine is not intended for emergencies or situations that need immediate attention. It’s helpful for a variety of other health issues including colds and flu, insect bites, rashes and moles, and sore throats are some common issues addressed. Telemedicine is a convenient and safe option for patients who may suffer from disabilities, want to stay in the safety of their home or want to avoid possible infection.