The use of telemedicine technology has risen sharply as patients currently have no choice but to reach out to their health care provider from home. “Telemedicine” is a broad term that refers to a virtual doctor visit through videoconference. Some of our clients are reporting that they will soon get the elective surgery they really need to move forward with recent changes in restrictions on health care, but telemedicine remains the only option for many folks. A few of our clients have been using telemedicine for some time, but for others, this is new territory. Many of our clients are required to attend independent medical examinations (IME). These are examinations an insurance company or attorney schedules to get a second opinion about a client’s medical condition. Social Security does the same thing, calling them “consultative examinations.” Instead of a telemedicine appointment, many IMEs are being postponed, either by our client or the insurer. In one case, Oregon’s Workers’ Compensation Division opted for a “medical records review” instead. When I offered one client the option of postponing a recent IME, she decided to forge ahead and traveled to her appointment wearing a mask. It’s a personal decision for sure.
An October 2018 study revealed that doctors were more likely to prescribe antibiotics during a telemedicine appointment, but that likelihood decreased the longer the appointment lasted. It’s clear that the more information the doctor has, the better, but it’s a two-way street. Take some time to note your symptoms, using a calendar to give an accurate history. Be ready to provide information about your medications (have your pill bottles ready to hold to the camera) and your overall health history. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and have them ready before the appointment. On a more practical level, make sure you have the technology at home before going virtual. You will need a smartphone, tablet, or computer with a data plan or internet connection. Be aware that privacy and security varies depending on the platform your doctor is using. Do not hesitate to ask about security. One security feature, encryption, is something to ask about. Patient surveys show an overall high level of satisfaction with telemedicine, but telemedicine cannot address all issues. Hopefully, this will all be ancient history, and soon. If you have experiences you would like to share about using telemedicine, then check our Facebook page.
If you are thinking of telemedicine as a treatment option, then here are some considerations.
STICKY AND SWEET PORK ‘RIBS’ Inspired by Bon Appétit
• 2 heads garlic, cloves separated • 3 thumbs ginger, chopped
• 1/3 cup oyster sauce • 1/3 cup toasted sesame oil • 5 lbs boneless pork shoulder, flattened • 3/4 cup brown sugar • 1 tbsp molasses
• 1 cup hoisin sauce • 3/4 cup fish sauce • 2/3 cup honey • 2/3 cup rice wine • 1/2 cup chili oil
1. In a blender, purée garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, honey, rice wine, chili oil, oyster sauce, and toasted sesame oil until smooth. 2. Reserve and chill 1 1/2 cups for later use. 3. In a bag, add the remaining mixture and pork shoulder. Marinate for at least 8 hours. 4. Using a convection plate on the grill, cook pork until the thickest part reaches an internal temperature of 140–145 F. 5. In a large saucepan, simmer brown sugar, molasses, and reserved marinade for 6–8 minutes. 6. Baste the pork with the brown sugar glaze for 2 minutes before serving.
The Di Bartolomeo Law Office, P.C. 1139 Exchange Street | Astoria, Oregon | 503-325-8600 | www.JoeDiBartolomeo.com
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