In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Boone Memorial Hospital is offering telemedicine in an effort to continue keeping its patients safe, while providing health services.
Telemedicine is the distribution of health-related services and information via electronic information and telecommunication technologies. Telemedicine enables remote healthcare (telehealth).
“Basically it makes it possible for providers to treat patients whenever needed and wherever the patient is, by using a computer or smartphone,” explained Charissa Workman, Boone Memorial Hospital Clinical IT Analyst.
“Our patients’ health and safety is our utmost priority,” said Boone Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Virgil Underwood. “Therefore, telemedicine is an excellent way to merge the two. We feel we can continue to offer quality healthcare during this pandemic by allowing patients to receive the help they need from a remote location.”
Based on current legislation, at this time, telemedicine will only be offered at Boone Memorial during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“It is a safe and secure service, which will be offered through Doxy.me,” said Workman.
Doxy.me is a cloud-based electronic medical records (EMR) and telemedicine, which is HIPAA-compliant, and Android and iOS apps are available for mobile devices. Doxy.me allows patients to start sessions by clicking on a URL (also known as a web address) shared via email or SMS (Short Message Service).
Things You Should Know:
Currently, Boone Memorial Hospital physicians, Amy Sayre, MD and Howard Wesley Lafferty Jr., D.O. will offer telemedicine services to ANY PATIENT ALREADY ESTABLISHED at a Boone Memorial Hospital Clinic. This includes patients who have only been seen in the Family Medical Center Walk-In Clinic.
“If you are not currently a patient of Dr. Sayre or Dr. Lafferty, they will still accept you as a patient via telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, as long as you have been seen previously in one of our Boone Memorial Hospital Clinics,” said Workman. “Dr. Sayre and Dr. Lafferty will communicate with your current Boone Memorial Hospital provider and obtain a copy of your medical records to ensure you get adequate care and treatment. When you call for a telemedicine appointment, please tell the BMH Call Center who your provider is currently.”
Boone Memorial Hospital Specialists, Dr. Melissa Moody (Psychiatry) and Dr. Shane Cook (Dermatology), are currently seeing new and established patients, as previously scheduled, and have telemedicine capability during the COVID-19 pandemic for patients unable to attend visits. A face-to-face physical assessment prior to telemedicine is not required.
“If you had to cancel an appointment recently due to COVID 19, we urge you to schedule a telemedicine session,” said Workman. “However, we welcome you to come in to see your provider, if able. If not, then telemedicine is a great alternative. Keep in mind our clinics are seeing only well patients at this time. Sick or symptomatic COVID-19 patients should visit the Emergency Room.”
A phone, computer, or tablet with access to a camera and microphone are preferred to initiate face-to-face video calling.
Once a telemedicine visit is scheduled, the patient will receive a link, which will allow them to check into the physician's waiting room to conduct their appointment.
“We understand this is a new service and one that may be foreign to some. However, we are here to make the experience an easy one. Our goal is to keep our patients healthy throughout this epidemic and we will continue to think outside the box to make programs like telemedicine available to our patients,” concluded Underwood.
Telemedicine at Boone Memorial begins March 31st. The BMH Call Center team is ready to guide patients through the simple process. Patients should call Boone Memorial during clinic hours, Monday-Friday between 8am – 4pm at 304-369-1230 to schedule an appointment.
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