Important changes in telehealth visit regulations provide an excellent opportunity for patients to receive consultations from highly experienced specialists in pituitary disease. Read on!
On Monday, November 16, 2020, doctors Lewis Blevins and Sandeep Kunwar from the California Center for Pituitary Disorders at the University of California, San Francisco, discussed Telehealth and Acromegaly: providing healthcare during COVID-19 on behalf of the Endocrine Society. Over 200 healthcare providers attended the virtual conference.
At the time of the presentation, there were nearly 55 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. Over 1.33 million deaths have been attributed to the virus.
While telemedicine existed before the pandemic, telemedicine usage has skyrocketed and greatly transformed the doctor-patient relationship. Blevins reported that, at UCSF, before COVID-19, about 10 to 15% of follow-up visits were conducted via telemedicine. Over 95% of all visits, return patient visits, and new consultations have been undertaken via telemedicine during the pandemic.
The distinct advantages of telemedicine were discussed. These included recognizing that technology allows for the provision of remote care and access to expertise for patients living in rural areas. It was noted that referring providers and other persons, including nurses, nurse practitioners, translators, scribes, and family members may be included in the visit. Patients are enjoying minimal time away from work and family-related responsibilities and appreciate the opportunity to decrease their likelihood or risk of exposure to SARS COV-2, the virus responsible for the pandemic.
Also, the disadvantages were reviewed. These were related to the fact that the technology doesn’t always work for all patients and that the physical examination is touchless and guided by visual inspection.
Blevins and Kunwar provided advice and recommendations to healthcare providers regarding preparation for a telemedicine visit, the conductance of the telemedicine visit, and caveats related to the care of patients with acromegaly, especially in the surgical management of patients with acromegaly during the time of the pandemic.
Doctors Blevins and Kunwar are available to perform telemedicine consultations. They can consult on patients who reside outside of California.
Please call 415-353-8153 for a telemedicine appointment.
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