BARDSTOWN, Ky. (April 20, 2020) – As patients continue to turn to virtual health care visits across the country as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group is offering tips on how to make the best of a telehealth visit.
“Many patients have responded to our recent announcement that we would offer virtual care visits,” said Viren Bavishi, DO, president, CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group. “By taking part in virtual care visits, patients and our clinicians are at lesser risk for contracting the coronavirus, and we want to make this process as easy as possible for those participating in a telehealth call.”
During a virtual care visit, a patient connects with a provider through secure, live video. All aspects and quality of the visit are similar to an in-person visit, except you do not have to drive to the clinic. The cost of the virtual visit is about the same as an in-person visit. If you are required to pay a co-pay during an in-person visit, then it will also apply for your video visit. You may receive a mailed request for payment.
“Patients should expect a similar experience with their provider as they would have in a face-to-face appointment minus a hands-on physical exam, and that includes the amount of time they usually spend with their provider during an appointment,” said Kevin Moore, MD, CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group – Primary Care in Bardstown. “To make the appointment more productive, we do recommend that those participating in a virtual visit make sure they are in a location with strong internet connection, and where they can keep their personal health information private while interacting with their provider.”
Dr. Moore said it’s also helpful if the patient has a thermometer, blood pressure measurement device or flashlight available during the visit.
“I find virtual appointments can really help during times like the current coronavirus pandemic,” said Dr. Moore. “For minor illnesses, we can often treat them through a virtual appointment and avoid patients having to potentially expose themselves to the virus by going to an office, urgent care or emergency room. For patients with more chronic medical problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and depression, we can work with patients through virtual appointments to make sure they are still hitting their long-term health goals during this period of social distancing.”
During a virtual visit, a patient must have an internet-enabled device with a camera and a speakerphone, such as a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. Cellular data charges may apply if you are not using Wi-Fi for your connection. You should check with your carrier if you have questions about your data plan. These visits are HIPAA-compliant, encrypted to ensure privacy, and are never recorded. Providers will document your virtual visit with them in the medical record just as they would a face-to-face visit.
In addition, Dr. Moore recommends the following tips to make the most of a virtual care visit:
- If you are scheduled for a telehealth visit using Zoom, you should set up the Zoom app on your mobile device or laptop at least one hour prior to the visit.
- Do not give out the Zoom Personal Meeting ID provided for the visit to anyone.
- Plan on having the meeting in a secure and comfortable place where you can easily communicate without distractions.
- Be prepared. Have your demographic information, current medicines and any reports you wish to review with your physician/APP readily available.
- Check your temperature, weight, pulse rate and blood pressure prior to your visit, in case your physician or APP wants to review these.
Patients who currently have a provider with CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group can call that provider’s office to make an appointment for a virtual visit. New patients can call 859.313.2255 to connect with a physician or advanced practice clinician. All CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group providers are equipped to conduct a virtual care visit through Zoom, a HIPAA-compliant video conferencing tool.
About CHI Saint Joseph Health
CHI Saint Joseph Health, part of Catholic Health Initiatives, is one of the largest and most comprehensive health systems in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with 135 locations in 20 counties, including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies. In total, the health system serves patients in 35 counties statewide. CHI Saint Joseph Health is dedicated to building healthier communities by elevating patient care through an integrated physical and behavioral health delivery system. CHI Saint Joseph Health embodies a strong mission and faith-based heritage and works through local partnerships to expand access to care in the communities it serves.
About the CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group
CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group is the employed provider network of CHI Saint Joseph Health with 88 locations in 16 communities throughout central and eastern Kentucky.
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