You’ve got a busy clinical practice, and many of your patients have questions about COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.
And it’s cold and flu season, so many of your patients are having symptoms that overlap with those related to the novel coronavirus.
Or maybe some of your patients are concerned about coming into your office for reasons not related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus because of community transmission fears.
But there’s a solution that will help you take care of these patients without putting you, your office staff, and your other patients at risk of exposure. If you haven’t considered using telemedicine before, now may be the right time to check it out.
With Direct Health, you can quickly integrate telemedicine into your practice in just a few easy steps.
Calm your patients’ concerns
Even though the requirements for SARS-CoV-2 testing is in flux, you can use a telemedicine platform like Direct Health to answer your patients’ questions and screen them based on their history and current symptoms.
If you are worried your patients may have too much access to you, you can involve your clinical support staff to help answer questions. And then your staff can alert you of any cases that may require your attention.
Your staff can text or have audio or video calls with your patients to assess them. If you need to be involved, your staff could send you a message during time you blocked off for answering telemedicine appointments.
Within the Direct Health app you can show your anticipated response time to set reasonable expectations for your patients. And you can indicate your availability within the app, allowing you to have down time when you want it.
Using Direct Health for remote assessment
The most common symptoms for COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus are fever and cough. Most healthy individuals will have a mild illness with minimal severity. Individuals most at risk of developing a more protracted course are those over the age of 65 or younger individuals with significant comorbidities.
More severe cases may develop shortness of breath, and in the worst cases, patients develop pneumonia and an overwhelming host response that leads to sepsis and death. For more information on the virus and the illness it causes, see the resources below.
You can assess your patients for these symptoms securely on Direct Health’s HIPAA-compliant platforms. By evaluating patients this way, you can determine if COVID-19 is less probable in cases where the patient has a significant upper respiratory component like rhinitis.
Of course, if you feel your patient needs a physical exam, you can always loop in your office staff to set up an in person appointment.
Or if you have concerns based on history and symptoms that your patient is at risk for developing COVID-19, you can direct them to facilities that offer testing in your area.
Continue seeing your patients throughout the coronavirus crisis
Concerns about the novel coronavirus and risk for community spread are dynamic. And practice patterns will likely change as this crisis evolves.
As clinical guidelines change, you can feel comfortable knowing you can use Direct Health as an option for seeing patients virtually, even if it is just to obtain more information so you know how or when to escalate the level of care for your patients.
And you can keep seeing your patients on a secure HIPAA-compliant platform that makes documentation easy and allows you to receive compensation for your valuable time.
Not a healthcare provider? Download Direct Health for patients and connect with a doctor today.
For more information on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19, see these resources:
- CDC COVID-19 Information for Healthcare Professionals
- WHO Q&A on COVID-19
- WHO Online Training for COVID-19
About the Author
Stephanie Kreml, MD is a former urgent care doctor and advises digital health and life science companies. Dr. Kreml also served as Chief Medical Officer for Accordion Health where she worked alongside data scientists to develop machine learning-based tools to enable healthcare organizations more effectively manage their patient populations.
She is an Advisory Panel Member for Dell Medical School’s Texas Health Catalyst program, enabling researchers to translate technologies into commercial healthcare applications. Prior to medical school, she held engineering positions with Motorola and Texas Instruments. Dr. Kreml received her Doctor of Medicine from Baylor College of Medicine and her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.
About Direct Health
Direct Health is working to change how healthcare is delivered by recreating the doctor-patient relationship. With the secure messaging app, physicians and patients have the ability to connect via text, call, or video, from anywhere and on their schedule. This enables patients to chat with their doctor, vet, or therapist at any time, and clinicians to extend care and get paid without extra overhead or burdensome schedules. With over 20,000 doctors across the platform, Direct Health is leading the way in the future of healthcare. For more information, visit http://www.directhealth.us.