LITTLE ROCK, Ark — One of the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic is that no one is going in to see their doctor. It’s understandable because you don’ t want to risk catching the virus. This is why the country has seen a big surge in telemedicine.
We talked with Dr. Keith Cooper, a family physician with CHI St. Vincent and he has definitely noticed.
He and his partners in clinic have now rearranged daily schedules to meet patients on Skype, or FaceTime, or Zoom, or however patients can connect. The telemedicine time doctors allot for their daily demands is expanding.
Dr. Cooper is quick to point out that telemedicine is not made for new patients. That still takes an in person first visit.
But, with patients that have been seen before and have a medical history with their doctor, telemedicine is valuable, even to the point of not even having anything wrong. If a patient wants to touch base with their doctor, or give an update on how they’re feeling, those visits are made for telemedicine.
Dr. Cooper recommends you schedule a call with the office staff just like you would a visit. Then, at the allotted time, you connect, and the average visit takes 10 minutes.
During the time of the pandemic, the telemedicine calls have been especially valuable in helping allay fears and anxiety.
It’s hard to think of any winners coming out of the virus shut down, but telemedicine would be one of them.
Finally, Dr Cooper said, if you’re still not comfortable with the technology, that’s what grandchildren are for.