Published On: Wed, Jun 3rd, 2020

Heightened Reliance on Telemedicine Amid Pandemic

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, patients were easily able to make an in-person appointment to visit their doctor. Whether it be a routine check-up, or a specific visit hands on care was readily available. 

According to medical experts, calling your doctor and coming into the office will not be as simple. Most patients seeking routine appointments and non-emergency visits will be given medical guidance via video call which is a relatively new and expanding field called telemedicine. 

Photo by: Med-Tech Innovation

Dr. James Heron, an internal medicine specialist in Atlantic, a member of PBC Medical Society’s COVID-19 Task Force said, “The practice of medicine has changed and changed quickly”. 

Looking forward, doctor’s offices may ask patients to complete a questionaire before coming into the office. If patients are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, the office will likely suggest a certain appointment time so proper measures can be taken to ensure the safety of both the patient and medical staff.

Telemedicine may be used even in serious instances to prevent the risk of infection spreading.

In hospitals, preventative measures will be put into place for patients who go straight to the hospital to receive care without appointments. According to Dr. Brent Schillinger, a dermatologist in Delray Beach and past president of the Palm Beach County Medical Society, “Before, if you said you had chest pains, they moved you in right away. There would be worry that it might be a heart attack. Now, if you have respiratory symptoms, you will be moved into a secure area very quickly.”

According to the Palm Beach Post, medical staff will move quickly to decipher if a patient may have an infectious condition that should be isolated. Patients experiencing respiratory issues will most likely be moved up in terms of priority. 

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, follow care instructions from your healthcare provider and local health department. Your local health authorities may give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.

About the Author

- I am currently a junior at Florida Atlantic University majoring in multimedia studies with a journalism concentraion. I am a Newsroom Writer for the Boca Raton Tribune with a passion for investigative journalism work and sharing stories within my community.

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