Telemedicine During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The Holistic Healing Heart Center, offices of Dr. Cynthia Thaik and Nurse Practitioner Doddie Wilson, prioritize the health and safety of our patients above all. Therefore, with regard to the coronavirus outbreak, we are taking precautions to maintain a sterile and clean clinic. Upon entering our offices, staff members and patients alike are requested to wash their hands. We are doing as much as we can to avoid reducing the office hours we provide. Our opening hours are 8am to 4.30pm, Monday through Friday. We will continue to adhere to all recommendations by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Medical Association (AMA) in order to keep our patients and staff safe. Anyone who has an appointment with our office in the next two weeks should answer the questions below:
- Are you sick?
- Have you been sick recently (i.e. in the last 14 days)?
- Do you have any respiratory symptoms (a cough, shortness of breath, a sore throat) or have you experienced a fever of 100° or higher in the last 48 hrs? Do you have any symptoms of flu?
- Have you been in contact with anyone who has or may have the coronavirus?
- Have you traveled or taken a cruise outside the country in the past two weeks?
If you answered yes to any of the above, please call us to reschedule your appointment for within the next 14 to 21 days. The Holistic Healing Heart Center now has the option to offer Telemedicine, through a secure HIPAA compliant tele-health platform. Telehealth is a safety valve we are opting to use so as to minimize the risk of viral contamination to our most vulnerable patients. Rural health systems have previously been using telehealth as an effective way to decide who needs to come in for a primary care or urgent care visit and who just needs bed rest.
Expanding Telehealth Use
In the interests of public health, and with coronavirus (COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2) proving especially hazardous to our typical cardiac patients (the elderly, those with co-morbid conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, COPD, or inflammatory or autoimmune conditions), the Holistic Healing Heart Center has gone to the appropriate technological lengths to offer a secure, HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform. Telehealth services are very well-suited for pandemic environments such as the one we are currently in, according to Peter Antall, MD, President and Chief Medical Officer of American Well.
Online Cardiologist Appointment
Telehealth allows us to expand access to our services for patients too ill to travel to our clinic, too infirm to risk contact with the virus, or already quarantined. Virtual visits can be an effective way to monitor patients with COVID-19, or deliver care to those in danger of contracting it. Unfortunately, we cannot see new patients or perform procedures via telehealth services. Click here to go to my clinic and register for your first telehealth virtual care appointment today. The appointment has to go through the office first. If you have a scheduled follow-up visit already, you can request to have it conducted by one of our remote doctors through our virtual heart doctor clinic. You will need to log onto our virtual clinic waiting room at your designated time. There will be a wait time of between 15-30 minutes, just as if you were in our office. The appointment will last between 5-15 minutes and will be billable to your insurance on file. You will be asked to consent to the telemedicine visit. This system of remote monitoring, unfortunately, cannot effectively diagnose or treat illnesses, which is why we are currently only offering it for follow-up visits. Due to unusually high volume of usage by physicians throughout the world, the service might be intermittently temporarily unavailable. If that is the case, expect the old fashion phone consultation.
What Are The Symptoms of COVID-19?
There has been a lot of information and misinformation swirling around the internet and media for the past few months. As health care professionals, here is our current understanding. Patients who have been tested for COVID-19 have been found to show symptoms like fever, shortness of breath, and a cough. Sneezing is not a symptom of COVID-19. The best ways to prevent getting or spreading COVID-19 are:
- Stay home when you are sick. Do not go out until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever. Note: if you suppress your fever with fever-reducing medicine, that doesn’t count.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. A tissue is best. A bare hand is worst. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder if you don’t have a tissue.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. You should take 20 seconds to thoroughly lather your hands, including under your fingernails. Then rinse.
- If you don’t have access to soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It should be at least 60% alcohol to be effective.
- Clean any frequently touched surfaces and objects. Door handles (including car doors), faucets, cellphones, the fridge door, the doorbell, the television remote, your computer mouse, your car’s steering wheel…
Additionally, you can help yourself by keeping your immunity at its best. That means practicing self care: have a proper nutritional intake including supplements, hydration, and plenty of sleep. Do not dwell on the negative: avoid watching hours and hours of negative news coverage concerning the pandemic. Read enough to stay informed, then move on to something more productive. Practice gratitude, focus on your loved ones, your community, and your world. Do what you can to make it a more positive, healing place. Napoleon Hill said, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” This is a great time to look deep into your heart and to plant seeds that will blossom into something that will make your life and this world a better place. Thank you again for allowing me, Doddie, and our team to be part of your health family. We look forward to accompanying you on your journey to true health!