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The Future of Telehealth

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Laura Zabriskie

June 4, 2020
Because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many have had to find new ways to manage their health without leaving their home. For this reason, telehealth video visits have become one of the most widely used forms of communication between clinicians and their patients. Robin Motter-Mast, DO, Medical Director of Primary Care and Population Health at GBMC, spoke with Fox 45 host, Patrice Sanders, about whether telehealth is here to stay and how the GBMC HealthCare System is adjusting to the new normal.

GBMC had been working to create a telehealth infrastructure for approximately a year before the pandemic. “We were perfectly positioned to get this up and going when the time came,” explained Dr. Motter-Mast. The HealthCare System quickly mobilized to provide this service to patients and has increased the number of video visits from 59 in the month of February to more than 18,000 by the end of May.

Both patient and clinician feedback has been very positive. “We were pleasantly surprised,” said Dr. Motter-Mast. Many patients and clinicians have found telehealth visits to be more convenient and that a large portion of treatment can be done virtually. “For the majority of the time, it is the same experience as coming into the office. But there are still circumstances in which you may need to be seen in-person by your physician or provider,” she described. Dr. Motter-Mast encouraged patients experiencing urgent issues such as abdominal or chest pain to come to the office. Click here to learn more about the steps GBMC is taking to keep patients safe.

“For issues like conjunctivitis or cough, telehealth is a perfect option,” she said. “It’s really about the symptoms and the history which allows us to gauge the recommendations we can make. If things don’t improve, we may potentially ask patients to come in at a later date to do a more thorough physical exam.”

When asked about the future of telehealth, Dr. Motter-Mast responded: “This is not going away. The patients like it, the physicians and providers like it – telehealth is here to stay.”

Click here to watch the full interview.
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