To prevent the spread of COVID-19, some old routines are being shelved and new ones are developing.
For example, at Swope Health, we are encouraging patients to try out telemedicine using your home phone, a smartphone or computer to avoid an in-person visit and follow stay-at-home guidance.
Here’s what you can expect in a telemedicine visit.
The first step is a phone call. We encourage all patients to call us at 816-923-5800 before planning to come by, for any reason. When you call, we’ll first ask you about any COVID-19 symptoms. We will then find out what you need an appointment for and determine if we can take care of you through a televisit.
Not all patients can be cared for this way, noted Dr. Jennifer Frost, Swope Health interim chief medical officer. Some patients will still need to be seen, in person, and in those cases, an appointment will be scheduled for you at one of our Swope Health locations.
The telemedicine appointment.
When your appointment is scheduled, you’ll specify whether you’d like a phone call or a video call. At the agreed time, Swope Health will contact you by whichever method you specified. If you’ve scheduled a call through the Swope Health Patient Portal, you’ll connect to the call from the portal.
The first part of the call involves making sure we know who you are. We will ask questions to verify your identity, such as your date of birth or address. We will ask for your agreement to conduct the telemedicine visit and you will have to say that you agree or select “consent” in the Swope Health portal before the visit can start. Your calls are always private.
The next step is similar to the routine at an in-person visit. We’ll ask about your health history and ask about any vital signs that you are able to provide (like weight, temperature or blood pressure). Your provider or the assistant will also ask what medications you are taking.
Asking about your health.
Next, your provider will want to hear from you about your health and any concerns you have. You and the provider discuss options to improve your health, and this may include prescriptions, follow-up appointments, changes to your diet, or other guidance.
Telemedicine calls are in use for a variety of appointments across Swope Health – adult medicine, pediatrics, Ob-Gyn, psychiatry, case management and therapy, for example.
Can you hear me now?
As with anything new, sometimes glitches may occur, like a dropped call.
If that happens, we reconnect with you using whichever method you chose for the appointment. If that doesn’t work, we try reaching you with a phone call. Our Swope Health staff will keep trying to connect with you later.
Just like at an in-person visit, you receive a record of your visit. Your After-Visit Summary, which includes details of the visit, medication instructions and follow-up actions, will be available for you on the Swope Health Patient Portal. If you need help getting set up or forgot your password, call 816-923-5800.
We want to stay in touch with you! If you have any questions, please call us: 816-923-5800.