Living in an online world sure has its perks. A lot of us discovered just how advantageous the online world is during the peak of the COVID pandemic, a time at which it was impossible to see one’s doctor for primary care. Telehealth saved the day for many a patient and physician alike.
A companion to telehealth is the e-prescription. Combine the two together and you have a primary care tag team capable of doing things that traditional office visits and written prescriptions cannot. It is fair to say that telehealth and e-prescriptions have changed the way we think about primary care.
Seeing Your Doctor Online
Telehealth for primary care is a fairly straightforward proposition. For the most routine needs, you do not visit your doctor in their office. Instead, you schedule a telehealth conference. You meet with your doctor online, using a video chat platform.
If your doctor is not available at a convenient time, or you just do not have a primary care doctor, there are a limited number of on-demand platforms that offer access to primary care physicians within minutes. The doctors are licensed professionals with all the necessary training and certification. They handle primary care needs just like office-based providers.
E-Prescriptions and Online Ordering
If you are seeing your primary care physician via telehealth and you need a prescription, how do you get it without visiting the office? You get an e-prescription. An e-prescription is a digital prescription your doctor sends directly to your pharmacy. Just pick it up when it is filled.
Note that e-prescriptions are not the same thing as ordering medications from an online pharmacy. For example, you might want to get you medication from Canada Pharmacy, an online organization that sells prescription medications to U.S. customers. Yet they may not accept an e-prescription from your doctor.
The only way to order from Canada Pharmacy is to procure an original prescription document from your doctor and then send it in to the pharmacy. Doing so may not be worth the trouble even though Canadian drugs tend to be cheaper. On the other hand, your doctor may know of an online pharmacy that will accept an e-prescription.
Convenient Primary Care
A lot of people introduced to telehealth for the first time discover just how convenient it is. In fact, convenience might be the number one reason for using it. There is nothing more convenient than visiting with your doctor from the comfort of your home or office.
Telehealth is especially convenient to sick people who really don’t want to get out of bed. It is also convenient to people who cannot drive, have odd schedules, or live so far away that driving to the office is impractical.
Here are some other reasons to consider telehealth and e-prescriptions:
- Professional Access – Your preferred telehealth platform may give you access to professionals other than your primary care physician. You might prefer to meet with a physician assistant or nurse practitioner, for example.
- Lower Cost – As insurance companies are learning the benefits of telehealth, many are offering reduced out-of-pocket costs to encourage patients to use it when practical. You may have a lower co-pay should you choose to use telehealth.
- Easier Prescriptions – You may not need to actually visit with your doctor to have an active prescription refilled. Some telehealth platforms employ care coordinators who fill prescription refills fast, easy, and simple.
One of COVID’s few positive aspects is that it has brought the potential of telemedicine to light. Today, telemedicine and its companion e-prescriptions are the new tag team of primary care.