The future has arrived. This week we did over 10 visits electronically, visits that would require an office visit in almost any other office.
We had several patients with high blood pressure send us electronic messages with their home blood pressure readings. Most were normal and we refilled their medications for 6 months. One, who is newly diagnosed, needed an increase in his dose. None required a visit.
One patient had a bald patch on his scalp. We made the diagnosis of alopecia immediately upon receiving the photo he sent to our office iphone. The treatment will require a visit, but the diagnosis didn’t.
Another patient send in a photo of a new mole, which looks like a benign seborrheic keratosis. While you probably have no idea what that is, it is nothing to worry about and a visit was avoided.
This morning a patient called me with an asthma exacerbation. As she has had the condition for years she was able to describe her symptoms accurately. Instead of sending her to urgent care I was able to treat her over the phone, saving her time and money.
Two other patients who were seen in the office scheduled their next visits via Facetime, grateful that they would not have to take time off of work to follow up on their conditions.
The overlooked benefit of all of these visits is that they took much less time than an office visit would have. The result was more room in the schedule for those who did need to come in and more time when they did.
It’s a whole new world!