Telehealth becoming valuable tool for doctors to see patients during coronavirus pandemic

Doctors utilizing Telehealth technology to see patients during coronavirus pandemic
Doctors utilizing Telehealth technology to see patients during coronavirus pandemic

BRICKELL, Fla. – Telehealth is becoming increasingly more important amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Doctors are trying to help slow the spread of the virus by limiting office visits.

"A very different situation for all of us," said Dr. Tanya Roman, chief of pediatrics with Community Healthy of South Florida.

Dr. Roman is part of the team of professionals who started the first Covid-19 testing site in Miami Dade County at Doris Ison Health Center in Cutler Bay.

"We had people coming from all over the county and even Broward County," she said.

The lines of cars stretched from the Cutler Bay facility to the turnpike.

But as weeks have gone by, some medical staff on the frontlines administering tests have seen a drastic decrease in demand.

"The need of the testing is a lot less, so we’ve scaled down to, instead of doing every day of the week, we are doing 2 days per week," Dr. Roman said.

Dr. Roman cites the efforts of local leaders in South Florida as to why the amount of people showing up to be tested has gone down.

"All of the efforts that were made in our counties, as far as social distancing, closing down facilities and keeping everyone at home, has diminished the spread of the infection," she said.

And to deter from spreading the infection to frontline workers, many medical professionals have increased their use of telehealth; virtual visits with patients.

Dr. Roman said prior to the pandemic, telehealth was used more to discuss lab results, but it has advanced in the time since.

We can do a lot more things then we initially thought we could do," Dr. Roman said.

"You can't do every consultation this way, but we were able to decide the visits we can do."

The spread of infection has not hit the pediatric population very hard.

The at-risk 65 years and older group is who medical professionals said from the beginning would have a challenge.

A professional pediatrics study by the Official Journal of the American Academy Pediatrics found in 2,135 pediatric cases, more than 90% of patients were asymptomatic, mild or moderate cases.

“I have had a few, very, very few patients who have tested positive, but they came over it and had something very mild," Dr. Roman said.

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