Medical Care goes virtual

Published 4:13 pm Sunday, March 29, 2020

Over the last week, Medical Care has completely turned their offices into 100 percent Telehealth.
Telehealth brings technology to medicine through the use of computers and mobile devices.
In Medical Care’s case, patients are greeted to a sign on office doors that asks them to call ahead. Upon calling, patients are checked in with nurses, and are able to speak with physicians from their smartphone, over a phone call or on a computer. This can be done as a patient sits in their car or even at home. After being checked-in over Telehealth, those who are ill and need testing done will be allowed inside the building, which now has very few people, to have these procedures done.
Steve Hopland, CEO of Medical Care, said that this change is for the protection of both his patients and staff during this time.
“It’s to keep them safe, and to keep our people safe,” he said. “It’s really more convenient and better for the patient.”
In addition to maintaining safety, he said this is to keep health care going.
“General, normal health care needs to continue through this pandemic,” said Hopland.  “We want people to remember that just because there is a pandemic, there are still all kinds of regular health routines to follow. You can’t ignore the rest of your health because you are worrying about the coronavirus.”
As a result of Telehealth, the usually packed waiting room at Medical Care is now the opposite.
“Our waiting room has gone from where we usually have 200 people through here, to yesterday I think we had less than a dozen,” said Hopland.
This continues to benefit patients, as those needing a test done can still maintain social distancing from other illnesses.
“Everybody is separated, with large distances,” he said. “It keeps people as safe as we can keep them, and still provide the medical care they need.”
While this is a crazy time for many medical offices, Hopland said that the office will continue to care for patients, and is still accepting new ones as well.
In regards to the pandemic, once things return to semi-normal, Hopland says the healthcare system is forever changed. He believes many of the things from Telehealth could remain in place. He also said Telehealth was already a tool worked with, and Medical Care is always wanting to try new innovative ways to care for patients, however the pandemic has pushed change.
“We have moved our office more in the last week than we would have done in the next few years if we had done it organically,” he said.
For more information, you can call Medical Care at 423-929-2584.

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