What Is a Telemedical or Telehealth Visit?

Dr. Shah, MD, is a board-certified EDr. Menan Shahar, Nose and Throat doctor (ENT) who specializes in advanced ENT techniques such as endoscopic sinus and endoscopic ear surgeries. He has served as a member of the Academy’s Medical Device and Diagnostic Committee, and has authored numerous articles on the use of technology to advance patient outcomes in surgery.

In a telemedical or telehealth appointment, using a smartphone or a camera on your computer, you can connect to our ear, nose, and throat specialists from the comfort of your home. 

The Process Is Simple:

  1. Call our office and schedule a telemedical appointment
  2. Our team will send you a link. At your scheduled appointment time, click on the link, which will take you to a website to begin a HIPAA-compliant video chat with your provider.
  3. No software or downloads are required. Your telemedical visit is billed through insurance like a regular visit. 

 

Especially during the coronavirus pandemic, we want to ensure that our patients have continued access to high-quality ENT care while minimizing your risk of exposure to coronavirus. We want to make sure that you can safely practice social distancing while remaining connected to us and still have your everyday health concerns tended to. Our team always wants to stay up-to-date on the most current recommendations, and currently, the American Academy of Otolaryngology is recommending all ENT visits be performed telemedically unless absolutely urgent.

A telemedical visit also has the following benefits:

  1. Saving travel time. You can be seen on your smartphone from anywhere. 
  2. No need to wait in an office waiting room. 
  3. Telemedical visits are more cost effective then an urgent care visit and are billed through insurance. 
  4. You get greater access to your doctor. 


What Can an ENT Do Via an Online or Telemedical or Telehealth Visit?

During your online visit, our specialists can listen fully to your symptoms and story. Because we have years of experience, often we can discover your diagnosis through careful listening and by asking the right questions. With the addition of video chat, we can also learn a lot of important information. 

Experienced physicians have a reflexive sense about who is sick and worrisome, and whose symptoms can be safely monitored for a bit longer. Video chat allows us to determine this by actually seeing the patient. In ENT, through the use of video, we can examine a lot of the facial anatomy. We can also examine the skin and see any swelling, and we can even get a decent oral cavity exam.

Together, all of this information can provide us with a good sense of how to begin treating you. 

What Can’t Be Done Online? Why We May Ultimately Want to Schedule an In Person Follow-Up Visit.

The beauty of online visits is that it helps us determine who may need to be seen in person at our office. 

For some symptoms, we will need to perform a hands-on exam at our office to ensure we are not missing anything concerning (like an infection or cancer). 

For example, we may want to use a microscope or endoscope to examine internal regions of the body or regions of the body that cannot adequately be observed with the naked eye. When making certain diagnoses, this type of in person observation can provide vital information. 

If we schedule an in-person visit, rest assured we will take all CDC recommended precautions to ensure you and your family are safe when visiting our office.

Should I Be Seen Online or In Person?

The beauty is you don’t necessarily need to decide. Our office is now offering online visits as a screening method. Depending on the results of your online or telehealth visit, our team may ask you to come into our Denver office.

Can Your Team Help Diagnose Coronavirus Online? 

Absolutely. ENTs are specialists of the upper airway, which is where COVID-19 often presents itself. Indeed, many symptoms of a sinus infection mimic those of coronavirus. Because both infections can present with fever, cough, runny nose, and fatigue, our team has been examining and following the data on COVID-19 closely. We can help determine the best treatment for your symptoms or provide guidance on whether coronavirus testing is recommended. Our specialists will help you cut through the online noise and provide you with evidence-based recommendations. 

Currently, there are no at-home testing options for coronavirus, however, in the next few weeks, there may be at home test kits available.

We will let our patients know as soon at home coronavirus tests are available. 

To discuss your sinus or nasal symptoms, or determine whether these could also be COVID-19 symptoms, call and schedule an appointment today.