LMH Health using telemedicine to see patients in the wake of COVID-19
For the safety of our patients and community members, LMH Health has delayed elective surgeries and non-emergent visits. Many patients who have routine check-ups are having to reschedule and look ahead in hopes that the end is near for COVID-19.
But what if you could be seen from the comfort of your own home, without the scare of spreading or contracting the virus? Well now, you can! LMH Health is offering TeleCare, a service that is available to almost all clinics and appointments. Any existing or new patient can take advantage of this service as long as they have access to a smart device such as a tablet, smartphone or laptop.
Dr. Stuart Thomas, a gastroenterologist with Lawrence GI Consultants, said that there are many services still available through TeleCare.
“In a GI virtual visit, we can do consultations or check-ups,” he said. “A telemedicine visit is almost the same as an in-person visit, except we are not able to perform a physical exam.”
All LMH Health clinics will be using this service, including those offering OB-GYN services, general surgery check-ups, urology, neurology and more. The virtual clinics can discuss symptoms, review test results, prescribe medications and arrange for any tests or procedures that may be needed. Telemedicine visits can also determine if patients need to be seen in-person or not.
“Televisits are amazing because we can still see our patients,” Dr. Thomas said. “We can see how they are breathing, how they are thinking and if they are comfortable or not. Televisits allow patients to receive many routine services without having to come into the office.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our telemedicine service was fast-tracked to be available for new and existing patients. We understand that staying home is essential to help flatten the curve and prevent spreading the virus. LMH Health wants to remain there for their patients and see them while keeping everyone safe.
“Of course, if a patient needs to be seen in-person we can still do that,” Dr. Thomas said. “If a patient wishes to only be seen in-person, then we can wait until the pandemic has slowed to schedule them for an office visit.”
With technology growing and growing, Dr. Thomas believes that telemedicine is the future of medicine. Of course, in-person visits are essential, and some will simply want to be seen in person. However, he believes the convenience of a virtual visit will appeal to more and more people.
“Think about it,” Dr. Thomas said. “You can do this from the comfort of your own home, in your pajamas or on your lunch break from work; and with no waiting room. Once people experience TeleCare visits, they may not want to go back.”
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, patients need a service like this, but after the crisis is over, many patients will want to use telemedicine,” he said.
Dr. Thomas acknowledges that this is a culture shift for many. However, the office staff are there to help you get started. After scheduling your virtual visit with your healthcare provider, you will receive an email with instructions on setting up the system and how it will work. LMH Health is here to help you use TeleCare as easily as possible.
“Telemedicine has rapidly increased the services we can provide,” Dr. Thomas said. “I highly encourage everyone to try this service and see how they like it. With the future becoming increasingly digital, I believe this is the next big step in our health care journey.”