Many of us take it for granted that we’ll simply be able to drive ourselves to the doctor whenever a foot or ankle problem arises. But the truth is, that just isn’t always the case for every person who requires care.
When your medical needs, work schedule, access to transportation, physical distance, or any other complicating factors make visiting our office impractical or impossible, you do have an option—online telemedicine consultations!
This telemedicine service is now being provided by the doctors of Capital Podiatry Associates, and it’s helping us stay connected and ensure high quality monitoring and care are available even for our patients in challenging circumstances.
How Does it Work?
First, you’ll request a virtual consultation using our secure contact form. You can find that here, and again at the bottom of this page:
Our team will receive your request and work quickly to coordinate an appointment between you and either Dr. Gilmore.
Before your scheduled appointment, you will need to sign up for a free account with Zoom, the teleconference provider we use, and you’ll also need to download their application / client to the device you plan to use for the teleconference. Windows and Macintosh computers are compatible, as well as both Android and Apple mobile devices.
Your device will also need to be able to record video and audio. Almost all smartphones and tablet computers (and most newer laptops) have these features built in, but those using older computers may need to purchase a separate webcam and/or microphone.
Our team will do everything we can to ensure that you have everything you need before your scheduled appointment so that it can go smoothly.
During your consult, we strongly recommend (though do not require) you have at least one additional person present (family member, close friend, etc.) to take notes and assist you with anything you may need. The calls are recorded, so you can check back later if you need to—but most patients find it much faster and less stressful to have somebody there with them in real-time.
We will be able to examine your feet and ankles through the video feed, and you can also send us HIPAA-compliant pictures and videos through the application.
What Telemedicine Services Are Provided?
You’d be surprised by how much can be accomplished over a video conference!
Obviously, we’re unable to provide direct treatment services over the phone, such as trimming nails or performing foot and ankle surgery. But there are still many advantages to using this service.
For example, we can:
- Provide visual diagnostic services—get a clear look at a problem you’re experiencing and, if not provide an immediate diagnosis right away, at least let you know what the next steps should be.
- Conduct follow-up examinations remotely—for example, to see how a wound is healing or how you’re walking after a surgery.
- Give you critical advice and instruction for home care and rehabilitation.
We also partner with home health agencies throughout the area, so if we determine on the consult that you may require in-home services from a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, or other home health professional, we can help ensure that you get these services in a timely fashion.
We can even coordinate with these agencies so that we can be “in the room” with you and your nurse during a bandage change (for example) and monitor the process via live video.
Who Should Consider This Service?
Telemedicine is a great, flexible option that is appreciated by patients who find it difficult, inconvenient, or even dangerous to visit the office in person.
Some examples of people who have benefited from our telemedicine services include:
- Those who are homebound due to age, injury, wounds, or other complications.
- Those who cannot drive (for example, due to a recent injury or surgery on their right foot), do not own a car, or cannot easily arrange transportation through other means.
- Those with busy work schedules, family obligations, or other obligations that make it difficult to find time to go to the doctor.
- Those who live far away from the office, or are otherwise not close enough to the office for an in-person visit (on vacation, on a business trip, etc.).
Again, obviously, telemedicine services are not meant to be a complete replacement for in-office care. At some point, you may need a doctor to provide actual treatment!
But it does allow us to enhance our care with more frequent checkups and greater flexibility for you and your family, and it may mean that you need to make far fewer in-person appointments throughout the course of your care.
Is My Healthcare Information Secure?
Yes. The software we use is designed and licensed for healthcare and fully compliant with all HIPAA regulations.
The video call and all online communications (even text messages) use end-to-end AES-256-bit encryption, so that data cannot be intercepted and decoded by third parties. Furthermore, the Zoom app does not directly access any protected health information.
What Does This Service Cost?
The cost per session depends on the time allocated for the appointment, and is very similar to what we’d charge for a similar in-office appointment.
- 15-minute consult: $65
- 30-minute consult: $85
- 60-minute consult: $115
Considering that simply getting yourself physically to the office and home again can itself be costly (fuel, Uber, time off work, etc.), telemedicine appointments can actually save you money in some circumstances.
The Doctor Will See You Now—Wherever You Are
As you can see, telemedicine appointments are a great choice for those who can’t get to the office, or just appreciate the flexibility and convenience of a virtual consult.
If you’d like to schedule a virtual consult with Dr. Gilmore, you’re only a couple of clicks and a short request form away! Click below to get started, or give us a call at (703) 560-3773 if you need help or have any questions.