Yesterday there was an article published by Newsday that discussed the challenges of telemedicine and getting patients to click the app.
Allied Physicians Group has been offering telemedicine to our patients since January 2018. We started with one office during the daytime, and then rolled out after-hours telemedicine visits in March 2018 from that same office. Then, at the end of September, we expanded the program to include all of Allied’s offices. These visits are performed by a board-certified Allied pediatrician who has access to the patient’s complete medical records while at the same time doing a visit through out HIPAA compliant platform. Some of our patients even own a device that enables the doctor to do a virtual exam of the ear drum, heart, and lungs.
Just like the article mentions, we too have had a slower than expected adoption of this telemedicine option from our patients. But, with a lot of education about how helpful seeing a trusted pediatrician from the comfort of their living room (or kitchen table, or crib) can be under the right circumstances, our patients are using Telemedicine more and more with each passing week. Our patients have learned what conditions can be diagnosed/treated via telemedicine and which can not. Some of our biggest users at the moment are families with infants at home with issues that can be managed just as well via telemedicine without the possibility of exposure to the cold weather and contagious diseases. All Telemedicine visits are documented right in the patient’s medical record, and the office staff receives a notification of the visit as soon as they log in for the day, which makes any necessary follow up extremely easy.
“Our group offers telemedicine to our patients, so patients truly can have quality care from the comfort of their home. Telemedicine when provided by your child’s pediatric group, offers continuity of care like never before. The consumer should be educated on the difference between a “retail” telemedicine provider and their provider offering telemedicine. There’s quite a difference in the type of quality care that you are receiving. A “retail” telemedicine visit is the equivalent of an urgent care visit at best. A telemedicine visit with your providers office is an extension of the care that you trust.”- Leslie Tarver, VP Patient Experience and Marketing at Adjuvant.Health.
Naomi Zilkha, MD, FAAP
Allied Physician, Division of Telemedicine