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How to Make the Most out of Your Telemedicine Appointment - Our Guide

Now that social distancing mandates are being carried out across the globe, even routine checkups and doctor's appointments have become a challenge. Patients and healthcare professionals found a workaround and now telemedicine appointments are the norm. While telemedicine may sound intimidating, it really just means having your regular doctor's appointment over an online video call instead of in-person.


If you have not done a telemedicine appointment before, here are some tips on how to make the most out of it:


Test your devices prior to the appointment. 


During the call, you want to make sure that you're communicating your symptoms clearly. It's important that you first test your microphone and/or camera to ensure that nothing glitches while you're consulting your healthcare provider. You can do this by checking your computer, smartphone, or tablet's control panel area. It also helps to close any other programs that are running to ensure that your device will not slow down. Of course, you must also make sure that you have a stable internet connection. 

 

Prepare in advance.


Telemedicine appointments seem to go faster because you're doing away with the travel, time in the waiting room, and interactions with other medical staff. Because of this, you have less time to gather your thoughts before jumping into your interaction with your physician. It would help to sit down and sort out your goals before the appointment. Organize your thoughts on a piece of paper so you can refer to them when you're speaking with your provider. You also may want to have the same information ready that you would at an in-person appointment, like your current symptoms, medications, test results, and allergies.


Set the scene.


You don't want any distractions when you're conversing with your healthcare provider. Find a place in your home that will give you a measure of privacy and a secure connection. The area should be quiet and well-lit, as well as have equipment that allows you to have the camera at eye level. That way, you can have a direct conversation with your care provider as if you were in the same room as them.


Take notes.


During the call itself, make sure to write down any directions or treatment plans your provider dispenses. You won't have a physical prescription at the end of the appointment, you'll need to have a pen and paper at the ready, or have access to your electronic medical chart if possible. What's more, your healthcare provider may confirm medications and allergies as well as pharmacy, so they know where to send the electronic prescription. 


At this time, we’re still doing nearly 100% telemedicine visits. We are still accepting new patients via telemedicine or virtual visits and accept most medical insurances. Get in touch with us today at Well Life Medicine for any questions and concerns. For appointments with our  healthcare providers in Oregon, call or text 971-301-4411 to schedule.



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COVID-19 Antibody Testing

We are now offering COVID-19 antibody testing!!! We are excited to offer COVID-19 antibody testing! This is available to anyone in the state of Oregon!

Please see important information below:

Testing (diagnostic and antibody) for the general population is an important component in managing the spread of the virus and because of this we are pleased to offer antibody testing. This test is an important tool which will help detect previous COVID-19 infection and potentially identify the people who are at risk.

The complexity of the virus makes antibody testing very important, especially for those who may have had the virus and been asymptomatic. Our antibody testing process is both easy and safe. This test is completed through the collection of a blood sample.

How it Works:

Schedule a quick telehealth appointment to have your history of COVID exposure/symptoms screened (YES! We offer same-day appointments for this!), come into the clinic or the lab for a blood draw and we will provide you with results in a couple of days! We can bill your insurance for the visit. Uninsured pricing available. Please call or text us today to arrange! 971-301-4411

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Health in the Midst of the Coronavirus Crisis_ What You Need to Know About Telehealth

Telehealth has been around for years now, but the recent crisis has increased the demand for it, especially since it’s now the safest way for people to get access to healthcare. Due to the implementation of the shelter at home order, it is easiest and safest for patients to seek out healthcare via telehealth visits. Most hospitals are slowly integrating its use for screening and triaging possible COVID-19 patients. By March, telehealth visits across the country went up to 50 percent, and experts suggest that it will hit 1 billion users by the end of 2020.


How Does Telehealth Work?


The success and efficiency of telehealth rely solely on technology. Email, videoconferencing, and video chat are some of the most common ways patients can connect with medical professionals. Responses from healthcare workers can be provided in real-time as well as FAQs and directions already present online. 


Making the Most Out of Telehealth Medicine


Due to the current pandemic, it is advised to stay home unless you have life-threatening symptoms. In person care has been significantly reduced. Through the use of telemedicine, however, you will be able to connect with a medical practitioner as needed, and all in the comfort and safety of your own home. Here’s everything you need to know about telehealth: 


1. Identify who offers it


Hospital systems and insurance companies are currently carving the pathway for telehealth accessibility. However, typically the system remains limited to rural areas where patients need to visit specific sites to get medical attention. More often than not, people from these areas need to drive for hours to receive medical care, however current circumstances have made these clinics close down. The federal government, however, has explained that efforts on expanding telemedicine accessibility have already begun, especially for the vulnerable population (senior citizens, the immunocompromised, and the disabled) and households with low incomes.


2. You’ll be able to get prescriptions and test requests


Should you need it, your healthcare provider will be able to send prescriptions directly to your local pharmacy. When it comes to coronavirus care, providers won’t be able to test everyone, but they will be able to identify those who may need to undergo testing.


3. Use other connected devices


Telehealth uses more than just your smartphone and computer. It can also access other technologies, such as activity trackers and smartwatches, to help track and assess your overall health. People suffering from pre-existing diseases will be able to track blood glucose and digitized asthma inhalers. Through the data collected from these devices, the health care provider will be able to identify relevant information to assess you properly, despite the virtual set-up.


The Costs of Telehealth Sessions


The costs of telehealth sessions vary greatly, but insurance plans are now covering it, provided that the covered doctor or hospital provides telehealth services directly. Consumers, however, may still be asked to pay for certain costs and charges—typically just the normal copay, but once again, the prices vary. Recent changes, however, explain that Medicare will cover telehealth services, but not much has been said yet.


Conclusion


The sudden surge of demand and interest for telehealth is unprecedented. Its power and value as a tool in medicine have always been apparent, but the pandemic has allowed it to truly shine. Not all medicine can be done virtually, of course, but its many benefits remain clear. One thing is certain: the prospects for telehealth medicine only remain brighter, even after this coronavirus crisis has died down.  


If you’re looking for a medical or mental health visit virtually in Oregon, our doctors and nurse practitioners are the ones to call. At Well Life Medicine, we care about ensuring everyone’s well-being and safety, so we’ve decided to operate via telemedicine and virtual visits. Book an appointment with us now! We make it so easy: no apps to download, just click on a link and enter your name and voila: your provider appears on your screen. We can see you for routine follow-ups, new patient intake (for primary care or mental health), COVID screening or any urgent care concern. 

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4 Essential Benefits of Having a Primary Care Provider - What to Know

Primary care providers are essential for every individual and family. They can oversee healthcare needs for your whole family; providing preventive care and offering advice on your family’s overall health maintenance. Primary care providers are trained to treat multiple health conditions, provide accurate and tailored diagnoses, and keep a close and long working relationship with you and your family members. This working relationship can help them monitor your family’s health history and allow them to respond appropriately to any inquiry.

 

In this article, we will share with you four important benefits of having a family primary care provider:

 

Benefit #1: You’ll have them for life


Primary care providers include medical doctors (MDs), doctors of osteopathy (DOs), naturopathic doctors (NDs), nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs). They are equipped to treat people of virtually all ages. From early childhood all the way to late adulthood, primary care providers can treat a variety of common health conditions and typically play a key role in your family’s basic health care. They offer urgent care services in addition to basic procedures, preventative care and disease diagnosis and management. 


Primary care providers often see their patients for years to decades, providing an opportunity for a lasting professional relationship between the patient and provider. This lasting provider-patient relationship provides them with a wealth of information regarding your overall health.


Benefit #2: They have a working knowledge of your personal and family history


Primary care providers who treat you for years have information about your overall medical history, providing them with the necessary knowledge needed to make more accurate diagnoses and supervise your personal health.


Other than that, primary care providers also can keep a record of your family’s health history. They can keep track of diseases that can be passed on genetically and provide a screening plan for the family members who are at risk of developing certain health conditions. Beyond this, they can also analyze family dynamics to help them assess specific milestones and changes in the family and adapt their treatments and diagnoses accordingly.


Benefit #3: They’re not just general practitioners


Primary care providers focus on preventive care and can treat chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, asthma, cancer, and diabetes, among others. They can also treat more cases of flu and common colds, provide immunization, offer urgent care services and perform minor surgical operations. They can tailor treatments according to your personal and family health history and track your progress over time.


Benefit #4: They allow you to save on costs


In addition to providing effective healthcare for your family, a wealth of evidence suggests that employing these basic health care providers help you reduce overall healthcare costs. Working with a primary healthcare provider, such as a family physician, can reduce overall hospital admissions, emergency room visits, and the need for surgeries.


Conclusion


Getting a primary care provider is undoubtedly the best way to take care of your family. As you ponder on your decision, remember to carefully consider the benefits discussed above. Health is not a matter to be taken lightly. With so much at stake, getting the right form of healthcare is tantamount, and that includes the possibility of getting your very own primary care providers.


If you’re on the hunt for family doctors in Salem, Oregon, we offer some of the best doctors in the region! We’ll help you take care of your family. Due to the recent risks posed by the COVID-19, however, we’ve switched to telemedicine visits, yet, our service continues. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help!

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6 Reasons You Should Visit a Nutritionist Today - What to Know

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is the key to living a healthier and happier life. It helps you stay fit, reduces your risk of having chronic diseases, and boosts your overall well-being. In short, to attain your health goals, consulting a nutritionist is essential.


Picking a credible clinical nutritionist 


When finding a clinical nutritionist, qualifications matter as they play a major role in making sure that they have the right knowledge to provide you with the best care possible for your needs. Be wary of people who claim to be a “nutritionist” when they only finish only a short certification program. 


Make sure to look for nutritionists with the following titles to get the best services: 


  • Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) 

  • Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist (LDN)

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

  • Master of Science (MS)


In this article, we will share with you six reasons seeing a nutritionist is beneficial for you:


  1. They can help you lose weight


Losing weight is challenging as it requires making drastic changes to your lifestyle, particularly in your diet choices. If you want to lose weight, then consider our nutritionist in Hillsboro or Salem. Consulting an expert in food and nutrition will provide you with a specific meal plan catered to your needs, helping you attain your health and fitness goals in the process.


  1. They provide professional guidance


Although there are many pieces of diet advice on the internet, there is no one-size-fits-all solution that can solve everyone’s nutrition concerns. Each person differs on how the food or supplements react in their body. For this reason, it’s best to seek out expert assistance from a nutritionist for professional guidance. They will offer professional guidance to help you reach your goals depending on your family diseases, stress, injuries, allergies, and more. 


  1. They help you cope with food allergies and sensitivities


Sometimes, the health problems that you experience may be caused by a food allergy or sensitivity. Turning to the services of a nutritionist who is backed by years of experience surrounding food and the human’s biochemical makeup will help you cope with your situation. 


There are instances when stomach problems or digestive issues are caused by gluten sensitivity or allergy, lactose intolerance, or other irritations. If you have been diagnosed with a food allergy or sensitivity or you suspect you may have one, you can rely on our knowledgeable nutritionist in Hillsboro or Salem.


  1. They can address your fatigue


Experiencing fatigue or exhaustion without a specific reason can be addressed by food experts. Turn to a nutritionist or a dietitian for guidance on eating a healthy diet to increase your energy level.


  1. They can slow down the progress of your chronic disease


Regardless of your chronic illness, addressing your diet is important. To help slow down the progression of diseases, consult a nutritionist so that they can come up with a diet plan to support your biochemical makeup and boost your health.


  1. They support you in leading a healthier lifestyle


As it is often said, prevention is better than cure. Although you may not be facing any current health issues, seeing a nutritionist or a dietician can benefit you in the long run. Whether your priority is increasing your lifespan, enhancing the quality of your life, or looking for someone to hold you accountable for your eating habits, you are sure to reap the benefits of going to the nutritionist and receiving professional health advice.


Conclusion


Good nutrition is vital for prolonged healthy life. Regardless of your reason for seeking help in sticking to a healthy diet, you need to look for a nutritionist who is credible, trustworthy, and has years of experience in their field.


If you’re looking for a reliable nutritionist in Hillsboro or Salem, Oregon, reach out to us and learn more about our nutritionist services or to schedule an appointment. We are able to take insurance for most nutrition visits; we are happy to check your specific benefits for you. We look forward to serving you!

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3 Key Tips When Choosing a Primary Care Doctor - What to Know

Health should always be a priority, and when the need arises for a primary care provider, you may have a difficult time finding the right one for you. This is typical because there are so many options to choose from today. So, how do you ensure that you’ve found the right healthcare provider for you?


In this article, we will summarize everything you need to know about choosing a primary care provider. Find the best one to keep you healthy and treat you with the best possible care during illness through these three tips:


1. Determine the best fit for you


As you choose a primary care provider, ponder on which type of doctor best fits your needs. There are four main categories of primary care doctors, and your choice ultimately depends on your age, gender, and health concerns. Analyze the list below carefully:


  • Family practice providers: A general practitioner, of which there are many types such as medical doctors (MDs), doctor of osteopathy (DOs), naturopathic doctors (NDs), nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs). They all can provide you with comprehensive medical care regardless of age. Most people choose family practice providers for primary care due to their one-stop-shop nature. If you’re looking for a healthcare provider who can cater to the entire family, this may be the option for you. They can write prescriptions, perform in-office procedures, address urgent care needs, order labs, vaccines, imaging as well as other health test requests, such as pap smears or wellness exams.


  • Internal medicine doctors: An internal medicine doctor specializes in treating adults. They typically handle a broad range of diseases and are licensed to provide necessary preventive care. They are specialized in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of adult illnesses. 


  • Pediatricians: Pediatricians are doctors who specialize in treating children, ages 18 years old and below. If you’re looking for a primary care doctor for your child, seek the help of pediatricians. They specialize in childhood diseases and preventive care, including wellness checks and necessary vaccinations.


  • Obstetricians and Gynecologists (OB/GYNs): These doctors specialize in women’s health, including pregnancy care. 


2. Check with your health insurance plan


If budget is a concern, always check whether or not your health insurance plan covers a specific doctor’s fees. As you search for a primary care provider, use your ID card to identify your network name. From there, consider the types of healthcare providers above and narrow down your available options through a list. Seeing a provider covered in your health plan will save you on costs, as any care you will be receiving will be paid for by your health insurance!


3. Convenience is the key


When you’re sick, traveling to your provider’s office may not always be possible. Emergencies will also require a quick response, which is why you need to choose a healthcare provider who is located near your home. Having someone nearby not only ensures safety but also makes booking appointments and actually making it on time easier to do! It is also beneficial to pick a clinic that offers same-day/urgent care appointments as well as technology such as telehealth visits to care for you. 


Conclusion


At this point, you now know that choosing a primary healthcare provider doesn’t have to be as hard as initially expected. By determining the best fit for you, checking your healthcare insurance plan, and ensuring convenience, you’ll be able to find the best primary care provider for your needs.


If you’re looking for a doctor to provide primary care in Salem or Hillsboro, we at Well Life Medicine may be a good fit! We provide our patients with quality medical care, ensuring that every need is met. We offer same-day appointments, in-office labs and blood draw, telehealth visits among many other things. Book an appointment with us today!

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