Telemedicine and COVID-19

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The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the healthcare system.  It is with science, technology, and communication that we will ultimately conquer this virus. Telemedicine and virtual communication technologies are stepping into the spotlight to help providers coordinate care and respond to the needs of their patients while reducing direct contact to slow disease transmission.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way we practice clinical medicine. As a busy orthopedic surgeon, my team and I routinely see hundreds of patients each week. To keep our patients and communities safe we made a rapid transition from physical office visits to virtual telemedicine interactions. It was critically important for our practice to maintain continuity of care for our patients while strictly adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Virtual communication platforms like Buzz with its integrated video conferencing features made this possible. Our patients were thrilled with Buzz, it allowed them to see their doctor virtually, discuss their care and formulate a treatment plan. The technology has allowed our practice to stay engaged with our patients and to maintain the personalized communication they deserve and expect.

In addition to video communication the Buzz platform allows us to share images, X-rays and MRI’s with the patient. Often, when visiting with a patient on telemedicine I will share my screen, pull up the patient’s MRI and point out specific findings. The technology allows us to replicate much of what we would do in the office. Using Buzz I can share other multimedia files including arthroscopy photos from surgery—our post operative patients definitely appreciate seeing those images.

In addition to patient engagement, clear communication among members of the healthcare team is of the utmost importance. Coordination between members of the team must be reliable and simple.  Using secure texting technology physicians, nurses, therapists and others involved in the care of the patient can communicate efficiently on Buzz’s intuitive and HIPAA compliant app. Their platform has helped numerous facilities improve the efficiency of communication centered on the care of a patient.

These are unprecedented times. We are blessed to have robust telemedicine technologies like Buzz to facilitate communication and engagement with our patients while keeping them safely at home. Maintaining continuity of care is what our patients deserve; Buzz allows us to do that and more. With unprecedented reliability, quality and convenience for our patients I believe that telemedicine is here to stay. It is an essential healthcare tool as we fight through this pandemic and beyond.

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