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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

What is Teladoc?

Last week, in my story about next year's no-tax-hike budget in NorCo, I was a bit surprised when a county worker said he orshe had no knowledge of TelaDoc. "[I] don't know what it is and would like to know how many employees are actually using it and find it valuable. Would you be able to find that out for us Bernie?"

Teladoc is a mobile app you can download on your smart phone to put you into near immediate contact, by video or voice call, with one of over 3,100 licensed health care professionals. It began in Northampton County in June with an email blast to all county employees. At that time, 483 employees registered. As of September, there are 624 employees registered.

Though the county pays for this service, it costs the employee nothing. He or she is also spared the inconvenience of a trip to a doctor's office as well as a co-pay.

The average wait time is seven minutes.

The top diagnosis is acute frontal sinusitis. The top prescription is amoxicillin.

Among those who have used Teladoc in NorCo, 69% are women,and calls are most frequent between midnight and 8 am. That makes sense. Children often wake up in the middle of the night when they get sick. Mothers likely use the service to call in their children's symptoms.
The service is used most often on Mondays, and mostly by employees between 31-45 years old.

What Executive Lamont McClure likes most about Teladoc is how much money it saves, both for the county and employee. Between June and September, it has saved $97,196, or $517 per phone visit.

Those 624 registrations amount to 3,500 lives covered by this app.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

My concern is with the security on such an app. You are discussing very personal information in an impersonal way. Have they had their security measures tested? If no one looked into this, it could result in a major lawsuit that would cost the county far more than it saves.

Canary_In_Coalmine said...

Cool!

Anonymous said...

This may work for minor things. However, I don't see it being wise for someone who has a long history with complicated issues. The Teledoc doesn't know the patient's long history (Ex. 30+ year medical history with one doctor). I would not trust the Teledoc to handle that. If it helps others, great. As for me, I will not be using it.

E Mest said...

I think it’s a great idea! Way to go Lamont. Now, when can retirees get this app?

Anonymous said...

I found this interesting and made me feel safe using Teledoc when I signed up to use it:

https://www.teladoc.com/news/2017/08/11/teladoc-earns-esteemed-hitrust-security-certification/

I believe the administration has been more of a net positive than negative and at least they are friendly and talk you when they walk through the courthouse.

Anonymous said...

I can see why this quick fix is liked. Sounds like just give them antibiotics. Cheap answer with long term consequences for continued development of antibiotic resistant organisms. Especially since researchers continue to report that most of these illnesses are viral related and not even addressed by antibiotics. Amazing how many are cured by "tincture of time" and think it is the antibiotics. But, I must admit, during the misery of infected sinuses, a phone call can be so reassuring. Its like having "Mom" on speed dial.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anonymous expert, I only listed the top prescription and the top diagnosis. A mother whose children wake her in the middle of the night will definitely be concerned, not that a person like you has any empathy for other people, and she can speak to a medical professional right away. It is an excellent idea and cuts out mean-spirited nurse like you.

Anonymous said...

Agree with 8:57 AM. Teledoc can't compare to your own personal doctor that knows your medical history.

Anonymous said...

This app sounds like a great idea, and one that I think the general public should be able to buy into. Especially those with kids and the elderly.

To 5:22, it doesn't sound like this is meant to replace having a doctor for regular check-ups or more serious illnesses, but instead as a way to get treatment for common illnesses 24/7 without having to get an appointment at the doctor's office.

Anonymous said...

Bernie... Why not a teleblogger?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I already do that from time to time.