You wish that you did not know where to find convenient medical care in every place that you travel, but the fact of the matter is that with four kids every vacation you take seems to an adventure. Your oldest teenage daughter rolls her ankle at the water park; the twin boys run head on into each other while your family is at the bounce park; you youngest daughter gets food poisoning at the amusement park. No matter where you travel and what activity you plan, you almost always seem to be doing an internet search to find the closest convenient medical care. In fact, your wife has joked that she should write a book. Under the guise of a road map to finding 24 hour urgent care across the country, her book can really be about your family’s amazing vacation times together. Because really, if you erase all of the on-demand care that you seek, your family really does have a great time when they travel together.

Family Medical Care Is an Important Factor at Home and on Vacation

Planning for regular vaccines, flu shots, and sports physicals when you are at home is important, but it is also essential that you know where to find convenient medical care when you are on the road. Knowing how to get in touch with an online doctor, for instance, may help you avoid an expensive hospital emergency room visit when you are vacationing with the family. In fact, virtual doctors are becoming more and more popular when people are at home, as well as when they are traveling with family and friends. Doctors and nurses have long know that the hospitals, and even family physician’s offices are not the most healthy places. And while staff works very hard to make sure that every space is as clean and germ free as possible, there is always a risk that you will pick up someone else’s illness when you are going in to get care for yourself.

For this reason, and others, there are a growing number of doctors who are offering online consultations for minot illnesses and injuries. From checking a pace maker over the phone to talking to a doctor about a stomach bug, there are many times when a video chat can be as effective as a trip into the office or hospital.

As many as 66% of respondents in a survey conducted by BMC Health Services Research indicated that it was important for a telemedicine company to have access to past health records, so it is important to note that these televisits might actually resemble an in office visit more than you might think.

A general physician located in the U.S. will receive over 3,500 visits a year, and a specialist doctor in the U.S. will receive 2,700 annual visits from patients. Given that doctors usually only spend 13 to 16 minutes with each patient, it makes sense that some of these visits could happen through video. Though there will always be cases when an in office visit is important, there are also times when they are not needed. When you are traveling on vacation, for instance, it is important to know where the closest and more convenient medical care is, but it can also be advantageous to know when a video conference might serve the same purpose. For elderly patients who need weekly check ups, for instance, mobility issues for traveling in for a 13 minute appointment may be too cumbersome. A weekly video chat with a doctor, however, can often provide more one on one time, and once every two month in person visits can be sufficient.

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