Grand Rapids MI. (March 26, 2020) –Since the outbreak of COVID-19, social distancing has been recommended to everyone living in the United States. But as society continues to self-isolate, certain everyday needs are put on the backburner. One is making time to see your primary physician.
“Spectrum Health is working around the clock to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community healthy,” said Jared Cowan, manager of virtual health for Spectrum Health. “Telemedicine has been a huge part of that effort, both through virtual screenings for COVID-19 and virtual visits for other non-emergency care.”
Earlier this month, Spectrum Health developed a virtual screening service for patients experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms. This service helps patients who cannot come into the doctor’s office be able to get the medical information and care they need.
How does phone screening work?
- Download Spectrum Health Now app.
- Patient should call Spectrum Health COVID-19 Hotline and set up an appointment with the doctor.
- The patient will speak with a doctor over the phone via video chat and discuss what symptoms they have been experiencing.
- The doctor will then give a health assessment and advise them if they are low, medium, or high risk of having the coronavirus.
By keeping sick patients at home and phoning in to their doctors, the spread of the virus will hopefully decrease and keep more Michigan residents healthy.
“We are working hard to execute on virtual strategies for all our primary health and specialty offices (all providers),” said Cowan. “As of yesterday, we have provided a virtual platform to more than 900 providers throughout the system. It has been a tremendous effort by several teams here at Spectrum Health who spent endless hours to make this seemingly impossible goal a reality.”
Spectrum Health’s virtual screening service shows just how important telehealth is to many people. Last month, Connected Nation (CN) — through its state program Connected Nation Michigan (CN Michigan) — released a groundbreaking study that closely examines the use and perceptions of telehealth in rural areas.
The study found that telehealth services save millions of dollars per year over regular 15-minute doctor’s visits, and there’s a higher percentage in productivity when using telehealth options. However, there are still questions that need to be answered in order to improve telehealth services in Michigan.
Making telehealth available to more people will not only help slow the spread of coronavirus, but also give certain people a better opportunity to get the medical care they need.
“By using Spectrum Health Now, or connecting to primary care providers virtually instead of venturing to the emergency department or urgent care center, we are limiting the spread of COVID-19 and freeing up our health care providers to help those with the greatest needs,” said Cowan. “We are trying to maintain access to needed care as much as possible. We will be continuing to integrate virtual in all the areas we feel it will add value.”
If you are interested in keeping up with Spectrum Health and their virtual resources, head over to www.spectrumhealth.org/covid19
To learn more, visit Connected Nation Coronavirus Response and Resources webpage
Share this Post