A variety of telehealth tools are available to help you manage your health care and receive the services you need. Are you taking advantage of them?

What is telehealth?

Telehealth or telemedicine is the use of digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely and manage your health care. These may be technologies you use from home or that your doctor uses to improve or support health care services.

Consider, for example, the ways telehealth could help you if you have CKD. You could do some or all of the following:

  • Use a mobile phone or other device to upload medications, dosing and GFR levels for review by a doctor who responds electronically.
  • Use an app to estimate, based on your diet and exercise level, what your lifestyle is like.
  • Use an online patient portal to see your test results, schedule appointments, request prescription refills or email your doctor.
  • Order testing supplies and medications online.
  • Get email, text or phone reminders when you need a flu shot, blood work or any preventive care.

The goals of telehealth, also called e-health or m-health (mobile health), include the following:

  • Make health care accessible to people who live in rural or isolated communities.
  • Make services more readily available or convenient for people with limited mobility, time or transportation options.
  • Provide access to medical specialists.
  • Improve communication and coordination of care among members of a health care team and a patient.
  • Provide support for self-management of health care.

The following examples of telehealth services may be beneficial for your health care.

Patient portal

Florida Kidney Physicians has an online patient portal. This portal offer an alternative to email, which is a generally an insecure means to communicate about private medical information. A portal provides a more secure online tool to do the following:

  • Communicate with your doctor or a nurse practitioner.
  • Request prescription refills.
  • Review test results and summaries of previous visits.
  • Schedule appointments or request appointment reminders.

Virtual appointments

Florida Kidney Physicians provides virtual appointments that enable you to see your doctor or a nurse practitioner via online videoconferencing. These appointments enable you to receive ongoing care from your regular provider when an in-person visit isn't required or possible.

When you log into a web-based service, you are guided through a series of questions. The doctor or nurse practitioner can prescribe medications, suggest home care strategies or recommend additional medical care.

Doctors talking to doctors

Doctors can also take advantage of technology to provide better care for their patients. One example is a virtual consultation that allows primary care doctors to get input from specialists when they have questions about your diagnosis or treatment.

The primary care doctor sends exam notes, history, test results, X-rays or other images to the specialist to review. The specialist may respond electronically, conduct a virtual appointment with you at your doctor's office, or request a face-to-face meeting.

These virtual consultations may prevent unnecessary in-person referrals to a specialist, reduce wait times for specialist input and eliminate unnecessary travel.

Personal health records

An electronic personal health record system — often called a PHR system — is a collection of information about your health that you control and maintain. A PHR app is accessible to you anytime via a web-enabled device, such as your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

In an emergency, a personal health record can quickly give emergency personnel vital information, such as current diagnoses, medications, drug allergies and your doctor's contact information.

telemedicine doctor

Personal health apps

A multitude of apps have been created to help consumers better organize their medical information in one secure place. These digital tools may help you:

  • Store personal health information.
  • Record vital signs.
  • Calculate and track caloric intake.
  • Schedule reminders for taking medicine.
  • Record physical activity, such as your daily step count.

The potential of telemedicine

Technology has the potential to improve the quality of health care and to make it accessible to more people. Telehealth may provide opportunities to make health care more efficient, better coordinated and closer to home.

Research about telehealth is still relatively new, but it's growing. Several theories exist to explain the slow uptake of home dialysis services: the perception that care is substandard to in-center dialysis and the fear of receiving care without medical oversight are two common arguments.  However, the utilization of telehealth rebukes both these arguments while also addressing the shortcomings of in-center dialysis.

Telemedicine Nephrology

Florida Kidney Physicians has incorporated Telemedicine services for their patients. You can have your online visit with your FKP nephrologist, address urgent health issues and ask for medication refills.

Make your Telemedicine appointment by calling our office or visiting our website: 

Let's keep our community safe and healthy!

Kidney Care Excellence, For Everyone, Everywhere