Navigating virtual health visits
At Columbus Community Hospital, we’re using technology to help our patients and health care providers stay healthy and safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. We’ve increased virtual care and telehealth visits so you can see a doctor online or via phone or video chat. If you’re accessing virtual care for the first time, we’re here to help you understand the process so you can easily connect with us.
Multiple ways to connect
Virtual health visits are designed to provide thorough, quick and efficient care without making a trip for an in-office appointment. If you have regularly scheduled office appointments with your primary care provider or a specialist, these appointments may be changed to telehealth visits instead of in-person visits. In this case, you’ll receive instructions from your clinic about what to expect when scheduling your consultation.
Virtual care and telehealth consultations are useful for many types of visits, including:
Quick care for common ailments: Virtual visits are often used for prescription refills, coughs,
stomach pain, sore throat and skin rashes.
Managing chronic conditions: Our Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation team is continuing to provide support from registered nurses and respiratory therapists, education for lifestyle modification for heart and lung disease management, exercise guidance and encouragement.
During virtual Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation visits, patients can expect to see staff and fellow classmates, watch educational videos, and receive handouts for support and management of their heart or lung conditions. For those without internet or electronic devices, the team offers weekly telephone calls. Prior to each call, staff will mail educational materials and review the materials with the patient during the virtual Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation phone visit.
Mental health concerns: Columbus Psychiatry Clinic is committed to ensuring that patients are provided with as much support as possible during this interruption in usual care. Its psychiatrist and therapists are available to provide either telehealth or telephone psychotherapy sessions during regularly scheduled appointment times. Clinic staff are also available via telephone to help with scheduling and any other questions that arise. The services are provided through a secure HIPPA compliant platform.
Follow-up care: Some physicians in our clinics, such as Columbus Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Clinic, are using virtual visits for follow-up care for patients who have a smart phone, tablet, or laptop with camera and sound capabilities. The service works well for patients who live a distance away, whose work schedules make it challenging for them to physically come to the clinic, for those patients who reside in an assisted living facility or nursing home who currently shouldn’t leave their facility, or for simple convenience.
Quick tips for using virtual care
Here are five tips to help you prepare for your virtual health visit:
- Track your health information. Make a list of your symptoms and when they started. You might also check your temperature or your blood pressure, if you have a thermometer and blood pressure monitor at home.
- Get your technology ready. Check your internet connection and make sure your phone, tablet or computer is fully charged or plugged in.
- Connect with virtual care. Follow the instructions that you received from the clinic or department that your visit is scheduled with. Please join your appointment a few minutes early to make sure that everything is working correctly.
- Ask and answer questions. You may be prompted to correspond with your health care provider via secure messaging or phone to discuss your symptoms and concerns. Write down questions and be ready to take notes.
- Watch for follow-up instructions. Your provider will share a summary of next steps through your patient portal and send any necessary prescriptions to the pharmacy of your choice.
At Columbus Community Hospital, we’re working around-the-clock to maximize virtual health visits to best serve our patients. If you have questions, please call 402-564-7118 or the clinic or department you are virtually visiting.