Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, many customer-owners have met with their integrated care teams in the comfort and privacy of their own home, office, car, or even miles away. With a reliable internet connection or cellular signal via a smartphone, computer, or tablet, customer-owners can talk with a member of their integrated care team for many reasons. Conditions managed virtually include minor illnesses, chronic condition management, behavioral support, or a preventative care visit.
“Southcentral Foundation worked quickly to provide virtual health and wellness services for customer-owners during the pandemic; we provided a safe and secure way to deliver high quality care over Zoom or on the phone,” Southcentral Foundation Vice President of Medical Services Division Dr. Douglas Eby said. “Over the last several years, we expanded distant care for rural clinics; using this approach we were able to quickly deploy telehealth services, onboard employees, and educate customer-owners on the benefits of using virtual health and wellness platforms to meet with providers.”
Throughout the pandemic, Southcentral Foundation outpatient clinics have tested and improved secure video telehealth on Zoom. If a customer-owner needs assistance joining a telehealth visit, Zoom’s help center (support.zoom.us/hc/en-us) is a resource featuring guides and video tutorials.
Even prior to the pandemic, SCF used telehealth and telepharmacy to provide health services for customer-owners. Expansion of telehealth during the pandemic occurred rapidly in all areas of services provided by SCF.
“Being pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic feels overwhelming at times,” customer-owner Addison Arave said. “But it’s comforting to know my integrated care team is accessible to me virtually or over the phone, so I don’t have to make unnecessary visits to the clinic to talk with them about my concerns. Knowing I have that accessibility to care makes me feel much more secure and safe.”
Benefits of scheduling a telehealth visit:
- No risk of exposure to other illnesses
- Convenient and comfortable setting of your choice
- Eliminates travel time and cost
- No waiting rooms
- Lessens need to take leave time from work or arrange for child care
- Ability to include who you want in the visit, even if they are miles away
- Choice of connecting by phone, computer, or tablet
- Improves access — other health care providers can easily join the visit
- Reduces cost to the health system helping to improve and expand services
Visit southcentralfoundation.com to locate the clinic’s phone number in your area, and to schedule your telehealth visit today.