A variety of options means patients don’t have to delay care
The healthcare professionals at Northeast Medical Group (NEMG) understand the concerns patients, especially those considered at higher risk, have about visiting their doctor amid a global pandemic. That’s why we offer alternatives to in-person appointments and are taking extra steps to protect you, your loved ones and our staff when an on-site visit is needed.
“My message to anyone who may need medical care, but is hesitant about seeing a doctor, is please pick up the phone and call your clinician,” said Arnold DoRosario, MD, practicing internist and chief population health officer, NEMG. “Simply putting it off is only going to make matters worse, and early intervention may prevent complications. Let your doctor make the decision if you need emergent, urgent or standard care. We have options other than the traditional office visit. Your doctor can help choose the one that’s most appropriate for you.”
Most people are familiar with the annual preventive visit, commonly known as a yearly checkup. In many cases, doctors and patients can conduct these examinations remotely via telehealth. NEMG staff are available to guide patients through the telehealth process prior to the virtual visit.
“Anywhere between 25 and 30 percent of what we see in primary care can be treated using telehealth,” Dr. DoRosario said. “If someone has a rash, for example, I can look at it on my iPad and provide a diagnosis. I’m going to ask them the same questions and offer the same recommendations via telehealth that I would if we were in the exam room together.”
All NEMG locations provide the safest environment possible in the event an in-person visit is required. A series of new protocols ensure that all patients, especially those considered at higher risk – such as seniors and people with congenital heart disease, asthma and other illness ~ can feel confident that their safety is the priority.
“Our COVID-19 safety protocols are standardized across every NEMG location,” Dr. DoRosario explained. “We are limiting the number of people who can be inside a location and, of course, masks are required for everyone including our staff.”
Patients experience several of the new safety measures before they even arrive. A phone screening takes place 48 hours before all appointments, during which a staff member briefly reviews some important questions and explains what to expect upon arrival. MyChart users can limit the time spent waiting by using the app to conduct pre-visit registration, make copays and review after-visit summaries. (If you do not have an account, ask your provider for a MyChart brochure or your MyChart activation code. You may also request one online at mychart.ynhhs.org by clicking on “New User.”)
Staff members screen patients for fever and symptoms of COVID-19 once they arrive onsite for appointments. Enhanced infection control standards are also in place, plus the staffs thoroughly disinfect exam rooms between patients.
“All of these precautions are in place so we can provide the right care, in the right place, at the right time,” Dr. DoRosario said. “For patients, especially those who are higher risk, the easiest thing you can do to make sure you get the care you need, in the safest manner possible, is to have a telehealth visit. You’ll get an educated opinion as to whether you need to be seen in-person and, if so, where and when.”
Learn more about how NEMG, as part of Yale New Haven Health, is keeping patients safe.