With WHO declaring the Covid-19 a pandemic, we all must take precautions. By now you have received many emails about what to do to protect yourself. Social isolation, as best as possible, is one of them. That does not mean you cannot see the doctor. The advantages of telemedicine are clear right now. For many years, I have offered telemedicine appointments. I use HIPAA compliant software to allow me to do video consults with patients. For many people, this suffices to get their medical needs met. First, a quick reminder about how to protect yourself:
The CDC and the WHO recommend several basic measures to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases such as Covid-19.
CDC and WHO Guidelines
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- AVOID touching your face.
- DON’T travel if you have a fever and cough.
NOTE: Several surveys suggest that only 66% of Americans wash their hands regularly. This is problematic. Get in the habit of washing your hands. It could save your or someone else’s life.
The Advantage of Telemedicine Appointments While in Isolation
Second, if you are showing symptoms, isolate yourself right away. There is testing available, but they must perform the test in an outpatient setting. The test is a nasal, lung, or throat swap. Hawaii is setting up test centers for symptomatic patients. Oregon is rolling out drive through testing stations. Many clinics do not want patients to come if they are showing symptoms. My local Adventist Health outpatient clinic is asking people to stay home and call the advice line if they are sick. Why? Most offices do not have resources to handle infections disease.
And this is one of the biggest advantages of telemedicine. Most people infected with the coronavirus (or another virus) can be treated at home. While it is likely highly contagious and will be deadlier than the seasonal flu, it is self-limiting in the majority of cases. I can prescribe treatments via video (or instruct you what to do if it’s more serious.) Telemedicine appointments can help with the coronavirus (or other illness). There are many natural treatments body fight infections before needing hospitalization. And if you have other health concerns, telemedicine appointments helps avoid exposure.
If you wish to discuss your symptoms, or have any other issues that require medical help, please call my office to schedule a telemedicine appointment.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 808-726-2772.