How Do I Know If a Telemedicine Visit Is Enough?

Aug 21, 2023
Telemedicine makes it easy and convenient to get the medical care you need at a time and place that suits your busy lifestyle. Here’s how to tell if a telehealth visit is right for you or if you could benefit from an in-person office visit.

Telemedicine visits are the housecalls of the 21st century, offering plenty of benefits for people with both acute and chronic medical problems. Still, while telemedicine is certainly popular, it’s not always the best choice for every type of health care need. 

In this post, our team at CN Internal Medicine helps you understand when a telemedicine visit makes sense and when you should schedule an in-person visit instead.

When telemedicine can help

Telemedicine can be an effective option for many common medical needs, particularly medical issues that don’t require in-person services, like EKGs or breathing tests, for instance.

Minor illnesses

Telemedicine is ideal for most people suffering from a cold, flu, or other sickness. Not only can at-home care be just as effective, but you can avoid travel and focus on the rest you need to get better. Plus, you won’t risk spreading illness to others.

Chronic disease care

Millions of Americans have chronic diseases, and that means they almost certainly need regular check-ins to monitor their therapy and make adjustments as needed. Telemedicine makes getting those regular checkup visits a lot easier and more convenient.

Mental health services

If you’re dealing with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other mental health issues, ongoing treatment is essential for your health and wellness. 

Telemedicine makes it easy to maintain your therapy without disrupting your schedule, so you stay on track with your treatment.

Prescription refills

Many chronic conditions require medication as part of the patient’s management plan. That includes medications for asthma, allergies, heart conditions, and diabetes, among many others. Acute problems, like urinary tract infections, can also benefit from medication. 

In most cases, we can prescribe or refill prescriptions during your telemedicine visit without requiring a trip to the office.

Follow-up care after surgery

If you’ve had surgery, you probably need follow-up visits to monitor your recovery. While some issues, like suture removal, need to be performed in person, general follow-up visits can often be over the phone or computer, allowing you more time to recover and heal.

Opting for an in-person visit

While telemedicine is certainly convenient, it’s not the best choice for every health care need. For instance, some health issues require in-person testing or lab work as part of the diagnosis or management process.

Well-woman visits with a pelvic exam or Pap smear obviously require an office appointment, as do prostate exams or cardiovascular stress tests. But during a telemedicine visit, we can decide if those tests are necessary and help you schedule your tests and screenings to make the process easier.

Finally, some people simply prefer the personal closeness of an in-person visit. While it’s definitely possible to establish the same trust and bond with your provider using telemedicine, you may feel more comfortable coming in for an office visit — and we’re happy to accommodate you.

Regardless of the type of visit you prefer, we’re ready to provide optimal care based on your specific needs. To schedule an in-person or telemedicine visit, call 703-212-9190 or request an appointment online with us at CN Internal Medicine in Alexandria and Lansdowne, Virginia.