There are many, many reasons why getting to the office for a podiatric appointment might be difficult to manage for many of our patients. A few common examples:
- Age or disability that makes traveling difficult
- Lack of adequate transportation
- You’re located too far from the office
- Inability to get time off from work
- Other time-sensitive personal obligations (family calendars, caregiver appointments, etc.)
Unfortunately, obstacles such as these often mean that people in critical need of a podiatric evaluation go without for weeks or even months. And as they do, their problem becomes worse—and ultimately harder to treat.
We do not want that to happen to you. We want to make sure that you are able to receive live, personal evaluations and advice from a medical professional whenever (and wherever) you need it.
That’s why we are now offering telemedicine appointments for patients who need a podiatric evaluation, but find it impossible or inconvenient to get to our office in a timely fashion.
You and your doctor will set up a live, secure video conference so that the doctor can examine and evaluate your condition, talk to you about your options, and ensure you are getting the attention and care you need.
Can You Really Treat Me Over a Video Call?
Of course, it’s easy to see the drawbacks of a video consult, in comparison with an in-person visit. Most obviously, we won’t be able to physically manipulate your feet during the exam, or administer a treatment. We’re not performing surgery over the phone!
However, don’t let these limitations blind you to the incredible positive benefits of a virtual consultation. Because the truth is that there is a lot we still can do in a telemedicine appointment, and making telemedicine a part of your care can save you a lot of time, hassle and worry—and keep your overall treatment plan on schedule!
Any visual diagnostic services we’d normally perform in office can typically also be performed over a video call. This may include:
- Visual inspection and diagnosis of a new problem—wound, injury, etc.—that you’ve recently developed. We may be able to complete the diagnosis over the phone, or at least give you instructions on the next steps you should take.
- Visual inspection and evaluation of an old problem—or in other words, follow-up inspections to see how a wound is healing or rehab is progressing.
- Other personalized instructions and advice from your regular care provider.
Real Life Examples of How This Could Benefit You
Let’s give you some example scenarios of how telemedicine can be used effectively to help you keep up with your necessary foot and ankle care:
- You have noticed over the last few weeks that you’ve developed heel pain that seems to be gradually worsening, despite your attempts at stretching and resting. However, you are without transportation and can’t get to our office anytime within the next couple weeks. We schedule you for a telemedicine appointment, watch you walk, and talk to you about your symptoms and the self-care strategies you’ve already tried. From there, the doctor provides additional suggestions for home treatments that may relieve your pain. If these treatments are successful, there’d be no need for an in-office visit.
- You recently underwent foot or ankle surgery. Obviously, you’d need to come to our office to get the surgery itself performed. However, post-surgical appointments to check the healing of surgical wounds and the success of your rehab are performed via telemedicine, since you will have trouble getting yourself to the office during your recuperation. Provided everything goes well, you may only have to visit our office once or twice instead of several times.
- You’ve developed a foot problem that is severely limiting your ability to stay active and mobile. Because you can’t get to the office, you schedule a telemedicine appointment with us. In addition to assessing your physical condition, we determine that you need further home health assistance, such as a visiting nurse, physical therapist, or occupational therapist. With your permission, we’d then connect with a highly rated home health agency in your area so that you get those services in a timely fashion.
- You develop foot pain while out on vacation or staying at a summer residence. Rather than finding a local podiatrist who may not have a personal relationship with you or easy access to your medical history and needs, you’d prefer a consult from your regular podiatrist. Telemedicine allows this to happen smoothly and quickly; you get to see a familiar face and don’t have to wait until you return home.
- You develop foot pain before your vacation, and your treatment would normally require follow-up visits that would extend past the start of your travel. With telemedicine you’re able to go ahead with your travel and have follow-up appointments with the same doctor managing your initial care—even on the other side of the globe!
- You have diabetes and came to our office for wound care. We determined there was no current infection as of yet, and sent you home with detailed instructions on how to dress and care for the ulcer as it heals. Depending on our recommendations, you may be able to schedule most or all of your follow-ups as telemedicine appointments.
As you can see, telemedicine can be a huge help for those who have a difficult time getting into the office for one reason or another.
Although it’s not always possible to replace every physical appointment with a virtual one, you will often be able to reduce the number and frequency of required in-person appointments, as well as get critical advice and consultation within a day or two—rather than however long it would otherwise take you to clear up your schedule.
The most important thing, as we said previously, is that you get timely feedback and advice from a real live professional—and ideally one who already knows you, your history, your needs, and your goals. If telemedicine allows you to stay in regular touch with your doctor throughout your care, you can expect much better results on average than someone who delays and puts off appointments due to difficulty or inconvenience.
Interested in Scheduling a Virtual Appointment?
There are a few things you’re going to need beforehand—like a stable internet connection, a device that can send and receive video calls, and an account with our HIPAA-compliant provider, Zoom. We’d also recommend you have someone with you to assist on the call.
For more detailed information about what you’re going to need and what you should expect, please feel free to check out our telemedicine service page or call our office directly with any questions you may have. You can also request a virtual appointment directly from the telemedicine service page.