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October 2020

Telemedicine: An Option to Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new disease in which public health professionals are still learning how it spreads. Concern is growing amidst all the rising questions on how to best contain this virus. Health officials are still determining the severity of the illness, as well.

What we do know is that the virus is spread mainly from person-to-person within close contact of one another (within approximately 6 feet). It is also spread through respiratory “droplets” that are produced when an infected person sneezes or coughs. It is currently understood that people are most contagious when they are the sickest and most symptomatic. It is also possible that someone can get COVID-19 by touching surfaces where the virus lives and then touching their faces, though this is not the main way to spread it. Much of the public is being asked to stay home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

TELEMEDICINE

With so many questions and not enough answers about COVID-19, there is an option for those with compromised immune systems, and even those who prefer to take extra precautions: Telemedicine. Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services. It refers to the practice of caring for patients remotely when both the patient and the provider are not physically present with each other. Modern technology has enabled doctors to consult with patients using HIPAA compliant video conferencing tools.

Virtual visits are an easy and safe way to be treated and to contain the spread of the virus. By using their phone or computer, patients can receive guidance about whether they need to be seen or tested instead of showing up unannounced at the doctor’s office or the emergency room. Patients, particularly those who would be at high risk for a serious illness if they were infected, can also opt to substitute a trip to a doctor’s office with a virtual visit when it is a routine check-in with a specialist or a primary care doctor. This way they can avoid crowded waiting rooms and potential spread of the infection. In evaluating whether patients may be safely monitored at home, doctors take into account people’s medical history and the severity of their symptoms Please note: patients who need to be seen in person should not hesitate to seek care. It should also be clarified that patients cannot be tested for Covid-19 through a virtual visit. 

For more information on virtual doctor visits or to learn more, please do not hesitate to reach out to EmphasisHR at (888) 837.3037 or email us at: info@emphasishr.com.