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What is telemedicine and what are its benefits?
At Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates, we always put our patients’ health and safety first. During the COVID19 pandemic, we are closely following the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and other public health guidelines to ensure the safety of both our patients and staff. To this end, we have implemented a new option for patients who need care – telemedicine visits.
We know you may have questions about telemedicine, how it works, and its benefits, so have prepared the following information for you. We are also happy to discuss any questions you may have about telemedicine and whether it is right for you over the phone.
What are telemedicine visits?
Also called “telehealth visits,” telemedicine visits are virtual visits with your doctor that are conducted as online appointments or phone appointments rather than in-person visits in our office. Telemedicine visits have seen tremendous growth due to the COVID19 pandemic, but they have been in use by many hospitals and clinics over the last few years and have rapidly become a more mainstream option for receiving health care.
What happens during a telemedicine visit
The specific steps that will occur during your telephone or video visit depend on the reason you are seeing us. In general, we can perform the following tasks during your telemedicine visit, as needed:
- Discuss your symptoms and questions
- Take a detailed medical history
- Use video to take a physical examination
- Use photos to help with diagnosis and treatment planning
- Take video or audio recordings to document the visit for later reference
Benefits of telemedicine visits
Telemedicine visits are a great option for scenarios in which the patient and provider cannot physically be in the same room due to safety risks, transportation, or other issues. In particular, it is enabling us to provide care to a greater number of patients than we would otherwise be able to during the current COVID19 pandemic. Telemedicine visits:
- Enable us to more efficiently provide you with a medical evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment options
- Save you time and money due to the lack of transportation/commuting and waiting in the office once you arrive
- Allow us to provide care to patients who are in virtually any location across the country
- Conserve our personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, and other equipment) so that there is less of a shortage in the medical community
- Prevent you from being exposed to potentially harmful viruses and bacteria, as well as preventing asymptomatic individuals from possibly exposing others
- Enable you to receive healthcare while your children or others for whom you provide care are at home with you
- On-demand appointments, enabling you to see us quicker than you would for an in-person visit in many cases
- Overall improved health because you can get the care you need, right when you need it without the limitations and time constraints of physically traveling to an office
Simply put, telemedicine visits are much more convenient for you as a patient, and increase your overall safety and health by limiting your exposure to germs while still enabling you to receive care when you need it. As your allergy & asthma care providers, we are excited about the opportunity to serve you in a timely fashion while keeping you safe at home.
It is important to be aware that virtual appointments cannot take the place of 100 percent of in-person visits. For example, if you need a treatment or test performed that can only be done in person, a telemedicine visit will not enable us to do that. In addition, we may not have full access to your medical records, particularly if you are a new patient to our practice, which can potentially lead to judgment errors, allergic reactions, adverse drug interactions, or other issues. It is critical for your health that you let us know about any allergies, medications you are taking, or other important health issues so we can provide the best care possible by filling the “medical update” form.
Who can participate in telemedicine visits?
Whether you are a current patient at our practice, a new patient, or a patient who is currently being seen at another allergist or associate’s practice but are unable to get an appointment there, you are welcome to schedule an immediate telemedicine appointment with us. In particular, patients who meet one or more of the following criteria may be great candidates for telemedicine appointments:
- At a high risk of contracting illness if you leave home
- Uncomfortable visiting a medical office at this time
- At high risk of developing severe symptoms if you contract COVID19
- Exhibiting symptoms of COVID19 or any other infectious disease
- Do not need in-person testing or therapies
- Cannot get an appointment with your current allergy practitioner
While we are taking several extra precautions in our office for the safety of all of our patients, we understand that some patients may not feel comfortable visiting the office for their appointment, but still need health care from our providers. Telemedicine visits are a great way to achieve that.
Data privacy and security
We are using the website Doxy.me , which have the security protocols necessary to protect your privacy and safeguard the information that is transmitted during the telemedicine visit. It is important to understand that we may use a mode of communication during the visit that may not have the same safeguards in place or the security protocols could fail, subjecting you to privacy risks and/or a breach of personal health information.
We know that the technology involved in telemedicine appointments can be challenging for some patients. Our staff can answer your questions and help you get set up for your visit.
How to get started
To schedule your appointment, just call our front desk at (847) 888-8802 or request an appointment. Prior to your appointment, you will need to fill out a simple telemedicine consent form online and Medical Update form that clearly explains the anticipated benefits and risks of this type of care and your medical updates for us. We are happy to further explain any of the points or answer any other questions you may have.
We are excited to be able to offer telemedicine appointments for patients from the states of New York, Michigan, Florida, New Jersey, or Illinois because we know that sometimes your health care simply cannot wait. Call Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates at (847) 888-8802 – we are here when you need us!
Advanced Allergy & Asthma AssociatesDr. Noga Askenazi | Dr. Eugenia Hahn | Meredith Cirrincione
Dr. Noga Askenazi is a nationally recognized asthma and allergy specialist who is board certified in pediatric and adult allergy. Her areas of special interest are innovative treatment of rashes, sinusitis, food allergies, asthma and immune disorders. She was past President of the ISAAI (Illinois Society of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology), works on state and national committees for advancement of the allergy field and is a consultant for Advocate, AMITA, Northwestern amongst other health care systems. Her joy is helping patients reach their goals after together determining best treatments. Her staff and patients are a chosen family, and she invests in their happiness. She enjoys gardening, biking and cooking to good music.
Dr. Eugenia Hahn is a highly recognized board certified allergist and immunologist who treats patients of all ages. Her areas of special interest are food allergy, eczema, and asthma. She is president of the Illinois Society of Allergy & Asthma, a National Committee leader of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, a member of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology working on new treatment options for patients. She is a consultant for Advocate, Northwestern, AMITA, Northwest Community healthcare systems amongst many others. Her patients mean everything to her as she takes pride in finding the why behind the problem. She enjoys reading and spending time with her family.
Meredith Cirrincione is a board certified Physician Assistant and specializes in treating allergies, with a focus on asthma, rashes, environmental allergies, chemical and food allergies. She holds a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from The Chicago Medical School - Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences. She is a Fellow member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She likes to approach things holistically. She is a strong patient advocate and adored by her patients. She enjoys singing, reading, cooking, and the great outdoors.