Despite social distancing and safety parameters put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, Scott Memorial Health is still seeing patients by utilizing technology in creative ways. Telemedicine visits provide an easy way for patients to see their health care provider when there are travel restrictions. Telemedicine visits also conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) and other clinical resources that are needed in the hospital.
For patients who meet certain clinical criteria, the primary care offices at Scott Memorial Health are offering two types of telehealth visits: telephonic and televideo.
Patients can request a telehealth visit by calling their provider’s office, just as they would for an in-person visit. The provider will determine if a telehealth visit is appropriate based on the patient’s health condition. If the virtual visit is deemed clinically appropriate, the patient will be given an appointment time and instructions for the best way to connect given the available platforms. Then, instead of coming to the office, he or she would call back at the scheduled time and be “checked in” by a nurse or office manager, and then transferred to the provider for the call or two-way video.
A few restrictions on telephonic visits may apply, including that they cannot be utilized to treat patients for a condition that the patient has been seen for in the previous seven days, and they cannot be used to treat a condition that the patient is already coming in for within the next 24 hours.
Patients who are concerned they may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to consider telemedicine appointments to help further reduce the spread of respiratory illness. Leveraging telemedicine also conserves personal protective equipment (PPE) and other clinical resources that are needed when treating a patient with suspected COVID-19 in the clinic or hospital setting.