Pretty much every infectious disease experts’ recommendation to try to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus includes staying away from large crowds. Many meetings are being canceled and I read yesterday that some professional sports are contemplating playing their games without fans being allowed to watch in the arenas/stadiums. Clearly, the fear is that sick people in close proximity will infect others.
On the medical side, many patients fear sitting in the waiting room of an ER/Urgent Care/Minute Clinic/Doctor’s office and being in close proximity to other sick people that may expose them to other diseases. The coughing and sneezing that occurs in close quarters could certainly spread droplets of the bacteria or viruses to others.
We launched a telemedicine platform for our practice over a year ago. There are many encounters that a person may have with a doctor that does not necessarily require a face-to-face visit. On the SP side, the weekly visits do not really require an in person encounter. Having a patient self-report a weight and blood pressure, and then having the patient and SP counselor interact can easily be achieved via a telemedicine encounter.
On the medical side, there are many problems that can be addressed very thoroughly via a telemedicine encounter as opposed to needing the patient to drive to the office, sit in a waiting room and see the doctor in person. Skin rashes, pink eye, mood problems, sleep issues…all of these and more can readily be addressed by a telemedicine encounter.
A bit more tricky are infectious illnesses. I cannot reach through the video screen and listen to the lungs or look into the ears. However, if during flu season, a patient reports to me that he/she has a fever, muscle aches and dry cough, there is a great chance that the influenza virus is the culprit and I can feel pretty comfortable prescribing Tamiflu and supportive treatment. Of course, I will advise the patient to contact me immediately if any worsening occurs. Providing this telemedicine visit allows the ill patient to remain in the comfort of her/his own home AND not be exposed to other sick people that may carry other illnesses. Strep throat, ear infections, bronchitis and other “sick” visits can be amenable to telemedicine encounters.
My practice has morphed over the years to a point where we do not have many “sick” people coming into the office on a daily basis. In the “old days” when I accepted health insurance participation and did not have the SP Program, our office was daily packed with patients including those with acute sicknesses. Now, there are many more “well” people coming in for SP appointments, routine medical check ups etc.
I wanted to post this entry to ensure that all of our patients know that we do, in fact, offer telemedicine appointments both for SP visits and medical issues. You can actually schedule your own appointment on either spdiet.com or doctorbobposner.com.
I know this is a very stressful, anxiety-filled time for all of us. If you need any medical help and are fearful of heading to an ER/Urgent Care/Doctor’s office, I am happy to help you via a telemedicine visit and home visit or simply call me directly. My cell number is: 703-609-0388.
Readily available diagnostic testing, immunizations and medical therapies will be available soon.