Telemedicine reduces emergency room visits

GEHA | April 19, 2019

Telemedicine
Telemedicine offers convenient medical care through the use of computers and phones.

Technology has changed our lives. In health care it is changing the way patients seek care and medical professionals deliver care.

Telemedicine or telehealth is the use of computers and phones to access health care services and manage your health care. This saves time for both medical professionals and patients.

The goals of telemedicine include:

  • Make health care more accessible to people who live in rural areas.
  • Make services more available or convenient for people with limited time or transportation options.
  • Provide access to medical specialists.
  • Improve communication and coordination of care between medical professionals and the patient.

Telemedicine is a great tool to use for injuries and illnesses requiring minimal exams, such as a common cold, flu, fever, cough, sore throat, allergies, constipation, diarrhea, pink eye, ear problems, headache, nausea and vomiting.

With the help of telemedicine, doctors can provide a remote consultation to determine whether a patient should go to the emergency room. Telemedicine has reduced the number of patients in an emergency room for minor injuries and illnesses, which also helps reduce the cost of medical care for those patients.

GEHA telemedicine benefit

GEHA medical members are eligible for telemedicine powered by MDLIVE.

  • Consult with a board-certified doctor by phone, secure video or MDLIVE app, anytime and anywhere. Licensed behavioral health therapists are also available by appointment via secure video, including follow-up visits after inpatient hospitalization.
  • Follow-up visits after emergency department visits for substance abuse or behavioral health
  • Average wait time is less than 10 minutes to see a state-licensed, board-certified physician averaging 15 years of practice experience.
  • Your covered dependents are also eligible. Pediatricians are available 24/7 to serve your youngest family members.

MDLIVE is designed to handle non-emergency medical conditions and behavioral health issues and can often substitute for a doctor’s office, urgent care center or emergency room visit. Telemedicine is not intended to replace your primary care doctor or to be used in life-threatening emergencies. Find more information an activate your account.

GEHA medical members also get access to 24-hour health advice via phone or video with a registered nurse. Health Advice Line nurses can help evaluate symptoms and determine an appropriate method of treatment, which may include home-based remedies, referral to an urgent care facility or walk-in clinic, or accessing the telemedicine service to speak with a physician. Learn more.

Sources:
“Telemedicine.” fonemed.com, Fonemed, 2019.
“Telehealth: Technology meets health care.” mayoclinic.org, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 August 2017.
“How Telehealth Works.” mdlive.com, MDLive Inc., MDLIVE Medical Group, 2019.