The COVID-19 pandemic put the entire world on pause. For many long months, most people stopped following their everyday schedules — something as simple as going to work or school, exercising at the gym and sitting down for dinner at restaurants all ceased to exist at a normal capacity. Many people were not able to schedule time for regular routine checkups with the dentist, PCP and other specialists that intend to serve patients on an annual basis. The hesitation to visit the doctor likely comes with fear of contracting the virus, as many health experts, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have continued to make the suggestion to wear a mask, wash hands regularly, remain socially distant and stay home unless you’re harmfully ill or you need essentials.
Because of this, there’s now a backlog of patients who aren’t getting wellness checks and have no intentions of doing so until the impact of the pandemic dies down. The unfortunate truth, however, is that it’s very difficult to say when things will go back to “normal,” as many of the experts warn that it may be years before we notice even the slightest bit of normalcy in our everyday lives, CNBC reported.
Why general wellness checks are vital during a pandemic
For many, following the nationwide safety guidelines doesn’t seem like enough. While social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing can make a measurable difference, some patients would feel more comfortable with an opportunity to receive care without traveling distances and surrounding themselves with people that are outside of their inner circle. An at-home care option sounds even more appealing to those erring on the side of caution.
The good news is that telemedicine makes getting a routine checkup possible, and it’s one of the safest options out there.
Lisa Gwynn, DO, MBA, FAAP, CPE, is the program director of the Pediatric Mobile Clinic & School Health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She said that patients have been apprehensive to come to the clinic for checkups, mostly because of the exposure to other people.
Gwynn’s experience managing her mobile clinic during these trying times has opened her eyes even wider to the opportunities that telemedicine presents for general wellness checks. To ensure everyone’s comfort and safety, she follows a strict set of guidelines, which include only allowing one parent and child in the mobile clinic at a time to ensure proper social distancing. While the mobile model workflow is slightly different than that of a normal doctor’s office, Gwynn follows normal protocol to ensure all patients can connect with providers in a safe and effective way. Not only does this provide peace of mind for the parent, but it allows the children to continue getting their general wellness checks when it matters most.
What this says about the future of telehealth
While telehealth has been around for decades, it’s more attainable and popular than ever. When we finally reach the light at the end of the tunnel and get back to that “normal” we’re all waiting for, many people may be inclined to get back into the doctor’s office, but this solution has opened many eyes to the future of care opportunities.
“There’s no reason why doctors can’t do a lot of what they do with telehealth moving forward,” shared Gwynn. “The pandemic has really made us think outside of the box.”
With a large number of her visits being via telehealth now — as opposed to a lot less before the pandemic — Gwynn feels confident that the trending use of telemedicine is only on its way up from here.
How general wellness checks can be conducted safely
Now, more than ever, the digital front door can expand access to care, increase revenue and encourage patients to “see” their doctors from afar and get the annual assistance they need to stay in good health. AMD Global Telemedicine can enable your healthcare organization to bring care to the patient instead of expecting them to come into your office, or avoid scheduling an in-person appointment altogether.
AMD goes beyond the video conferencing option when it comes to telemedicine. From low acuity encounters to high acuity care, our virtual care engagement solutions set us apart from our competitors by allowing your providers to scale their services to multiple modalities or care.Working with AMD, we will craft a solution that is tailored to making your organization profitable and your patients coming back for more.
To learn more about our perception of the digital front door and the modalities that come with our solutions, contact us directly today.