Tele-medicine becomes the norm as COVID-19 forces patients online

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Major health organizations in the area are now foregoing in-office patient visits and transitioning to tele-medicine appointments.

Pediatrician Dr. RW Mills said patients are facing tough decisions when seeking medical care these days.

"We have got a lot of calls with people saying they need to be seen," Mills said, "and lot of people saying we don't want to be seen, we don't want to be in the doctors office because we don't want to get anything."

Mills said doctors want to protect their patients, but they also have other people to think of as well.

"We also have our own staff to protect," Mills said. "And with the critical shortage of the personal protection equipment that we have currently in the nation, that becomes very concerning."

So Dr. Mills' practice is now adding tele-medicine to it's office for most visits. It works to help counsel patients while protecting everyone.

ProMedica Physicians are now offering on-line visits to patients first as opposed to an office visit.

"We can actually see what's going on with the patient," Dr. Brian Kaminski said. "There's a lot you can see just by observing someone's health, how their general state of being is. You can assess their respiratory status and can have just a genuine interaction."

ProMedica has already been using the video appointments, so setting it up now has been seamless.

"We actually have a mechanism that is set up either through on demand or through My-Chart, that will allow providers to interact with patients," Kaminski said. "If you have an actual encounter that goes along with documentation and we package a visit all together."