All this social distancing has REALLY expanded the use and frequency of telemedicine and other technology visits. But this isn’t our first rodeo with this stuff here at One Focus Medical. We’ve been doing it for years.
As soon as we were being told to distance ourselves as much as possible, I started communicating with my pts weekly. Told them to cancel routine health stuff here at our office, and if ill with respiratory symptoms, I would come out to the parking lot to check on them if needed. In actuality, many of the doctor visits we have been trained need face to face exams over the years, just don’t. I tell my pts that I get paid to TAKE CARE of them. Other docs still stuck in the system get paid to SEE them.
Here’s some examples:
Minor respiratory illness? You don’t need to come in for that. Primary care, urgent care, ERs see a gazillion of these every year. When I do evaluate the pt with resp symptoms, it’s the same every time … elevated temp maybe even a true fever, some fluid behind the ears, cobblestoning in the throat, some enlarged lymph nodes, cough. It’s a cold. I can treat that without a visit. Saves you time, money. Obviously there are some pts that need more intense eval but for most of us this is easy over the phone.
What about suspected urinary infection? My pts get a urine dipstick at the pharmacy and test their own urine. They send me a picture of the results, and once again we can easily treat that over the phone.
What about minor trauma? I stubbed my toe or fell on my wrist. I joke with my pts that if they come show me the injury and I palpate the sore spot and say, “does this hurt?” and they say “yes!” that it won’t help them much. I already know the toe hurts. They kicked the table! But my pts can just get an xray ordered from an outpatient facility with great prices. Saves time, money, and a trip. If xray is negative … ice packs and splints and buddy taping can all be recommended over the phone.
These are just some examples of what Direct Primary Care does, and what we do here at One Focus Medical. So this Covid-19 hasn’t slowed down patient care for our pts at all. We’ve already been doing it for 6 years. Our 6 year anniversary is tomorrow on April 1. Happy birthday to us!