During the Corona-Virus outbreak, Virtual doctor visits
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
So, what will you do, if you show the symptoms of the coronavirus? The advice of health care providers, first call, and not only show up in a hospital or at your doctor’s clinic. And because of this, we see more virtual evaluations. Instead of sitting on an exam table, the patient, download an app and turn on the webcam. Here’s NPR’s Allison Aubrey.
ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: Last month, Sara Dehbashi (ph) traveled to Europe. She returned home to the area from Philadelphia on 23. February.
SARA DEHBASHI: Two days later, on 25 February, I started to feel like a sore throat, I have slight cough, stuffy nose, had to.
AUBREY: she was worried, coronavirus, so she called in the emergency room at Jefferson healthcare. And one of the doctors recommended an online evaluation of the system of the telemedicine program, Jeff connect.
DEHBASHI: basically, it is a simple app that we can download. And it asks for some basic information.
AUBREY: Within an hour, she was face-to-face with a doctor via an online platform. It’s like being on FaceTime. There are video and audio.
DEHBASHI: So basically, he began to ask about my symptoms and where I travel.
AUBREY: It may not seem as if a doctor can do much practically, but emergency medicine doctor Judd Hollander, who leads Jefferson Health telemedicine efforts, you says, you will be surprised.
JUDD HOLLANDER: So, when I look in your throat, I get brought the phone in Position so I can look in your throat. I can clearly see that you are breathing well or not well. I could see her breathing rate. I can see if they look to be well, or ill.
AUBREY: In the case of Sara Dehbashi, she was able to take their temperature and talk about your symptoms. They were able to rule out coronavirus, but the doctors continue to monitor your symptoms and check in with your Remote for several days. Hollander says this is a success story for patients and for the good of the community, because, he says, telemedicine can help people out of the emergency room and urgent care during this epidemic.
HOLLANDER: We want to limit the people from ’cause we want to spread. This is the main objective.
AUBREY: He says, of course, if people need to be seen – say, if you suspected problems with breathing and coronavirus – you will be directed to come to the emergency room.
HOLLANDER: Because if we know that you have come to Jefferson, we bring you in through the back door in a biocontainment unit, put on a mask that is you and bring you back to your room with the least amount of contact possible.
AUBREY: Hollander says, more and more people are using the tele-medicine program.
HOLLANDER: I mean, our tele-medicine volume alone, yesterday was double what it was a month ago.
AUBREY: health care providers around the country and measures to improve access to tele-medicine. For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield companies say they will encourage the use of virtual care and try to facilitate access. Sean O’leary, an infectious disease expert at the University of Colorado. He says many health systems have a roled of tele-medicine programs.
SEAN O’LEARY: I think that this pandemic is the perfect opportunity to scale really, because the less we can people keep in the doctor, we go the less we overwhelm the health system and less to the spread of this virus.
MARTIN: report by NPR’s Allison Aubrey. Allison, that was so interesting. She is now in our studio to talk more about what we can all do to help the spread.
AUBREY: Good morning.
MARTIN: are we talking in General about the latest developments.
MARTIN: The CDC has a new recommendation on public gatherings. You fill us.
AUBREY: Yes. The CDC says that gatherings of 50 or more persons should be cancelled or postponed, for the next eight weeks, till the middle of may. And in addition to all the announcements from States and cities on the restaurant closures, we are likely to hear more advice from the administration on social distancing. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases consultant, said over the weekend, everyone needs to duck. And we expect to hear more details today.
MARTIN: that’s Right. The White house is going to be publication of these guidelines.
AUBREY: That’s right. Mmm-hmm.
MARTIN: So many people have asked how to protect the older members of the…
AUBREY: that’s Right.
MARTIN: …your family. What you say to them? What’s your advice?
AUBREY: you know, a lot of people don’t like to hear. My own mother didn’t want to hear it at first either, because it’s so drakon seemed to be Japanese. But in the face of all the evidence that older people are more susceptible, and can die from this virus, it is advisable to keep away young children. So, now is a good time to say, if you have children, to grandparents or older family members who do not we come to your house; you don’t
children, the virus is likely to be only mild symptoms or none at all, but you might give to an older person. I spoke with Shawn Morrison. He is a geriatrician at the Mount Sinai Health System.
SHAWN MORRISON: This is really a public health crisis of a magnitude we have not yet seen. And if we all act like we know we should, we will come through.
AUBREY: So you think about FaceTime, perhaps a drive-by visit. You know, you don’t remember, this is for always.
MARTIN: that’s Right. As of today, there is a whole lot of kids from the school are still at home, my children included…
AUBREY: That’s right.
MARTIN: I know that Steve ‘ s also. I mean, every one of us.
AUBREY: mine, as well.
MARTIN: how social isolation affects apply? I mean, we can playdates do, Allison? – she says, desperately.
AUBREY: Well, the social distance may not mean complete isolation, but it means we need to take this seriously and smart. So you might have this six-Meter belongs to-usually – keep-six meters away from the others. And at a playdate, think about it. Do you think it is possible, keep young children, six meters? I mean, this is a challenge. Older children may be different.
There are no official guidelines on playdates. No one says you have to cancel a playdate. But I spoke with a children’s doctor, Lindsay Thompson at the University of Florida. And she says, from your perspective, you prefer to be safe would than sorry.
LINDSAY THOMPSON: personally, I take a very strict line. I would say that playdates, in principle, a risk. I don’t know how big or small. But if we for a couple of weeks, and replace it with a little bit of time for the family, it would be better.
MARTIN: All right. So, what do we do? Especially because you said that we should keep children away from older people – I mean, a lot of families rely on grandparents…
AUBREY: that’s Right. That’s right. Grandma can’t…
MARTIN: …To care for their children.
AUBREY: …Come to watch, how easy now, isn’t it?
MARTIN: So what do we do?
AUBREY: Well, you know, this is really hard. And, of course, it’s a different situation, by the situation. But, you know, when you are at home with their children and try to work, encourage them to read to their children, you know, the old-fashioned way. A pediatrician told me many parents are likely to be rules loosen screen time. I mean, this is just the reality here. I know I must. There are many instructional videos and online games. And children need to move and be active. So you know, go outside, ride a bike, walk in the park. If you do, take the hand sanitizer. Wipe thereafter.
MARTIN: All right. NPR’s Allison Aubrey with some very useful instructions and tips. Allison, we appreciate this. I’m sure we’ll hear from you.
AUBREY: OK. Thank you very much.
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Released on Mon, 16 Mar 2020 09:00:00 +0000