In only a matter of weeks, COVID-19 has changed our world. During this new normal where social distancing is essential, healthcare providers across the country have had to quickly adapt and embrace technology in order to provide a new kind of care to patients. Crystal Run Healthcare, a physician-led, multispecialty medical group serving the Hudson Valley and lower Catskill region, has recently implemented telehealth technology in its practice. With the current COVID-19 pandemic when continuity of care is at risk, telehealth video visits provide a vital resource to ensure patients have access to their providers. Crystal Run’s telehealth program includes more than 300 providers in a variety of specialties, covering everything from primary care and behavioral health, to oncology, cardiology and women’s health. At a time in history when the majority of the population carries smartphones, utilizing telehealth for a virtual visit can be as easy as sending a text message.
Why telehealth virtual video visits?
Patient access to providers remains a priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. At Crystal Run, we want to ensure those patients who are unable to come into the office, especially those most vulnerable, can still get the healthcare they need while staying safe and avoiding any unnecessary exposure.
“It’s important for us to still be available for patients during this time,” said Scott Hines, MD, Endocrinologist, Chief Quality Officer and Medical Director at Crystal Run Healthcare. “That’s why we’ve quickly made 300 physicians available through Telehealth, so our patients can get the care they need, from the comfort and safety of their own home. Crystal Run is here for the communities we serve now and will be in the future.”
Telehealth visits enable our patients to have a virtual video visit with their provider; all that’s needed is a smartphone, tablet or computer. There are many benefits to having a virtual video visit:Patients are able to practice social distancing while accessing their doctor from the comfort and safety of their own home.Most insurance carriers are waiving copays for telehealth visits in an effort to keep people healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage people to check with their insurance provider to find out if they’re covered.In many cases the provider and their team will be able to provide the same level of care that can be delivered in the office. Certain patients, however, will need to be physically evaluated. If deemed necessary by their telehealth provider, most of those follow-up appointments can be arranged for the same day in the office.
Shifting more patients to telehealth and decreasing the number of patients in the office creates a safer environment for those most vulnerable, including the frail, elderly and immunocompromised patients who must come on-site to receive chemotherapy and other needed treatments. Through the Crystal Run website, patients can request a new telehealth visit or convert an existing office appointment to a telehealth visit. There’s an easily accessible telehealth visit request form located on our website to help patients complete their appointment request.
We’re working 24/7 to keep our patients safe and healthy
Crystal Run Healthcare is constantly evolving operations to assure the safety of patients and staff. We’re updating safety measures every few days to stay up-to-date with the latest recommendations. In addition to our technology-focused solutions, Crystal Run has also implemented outdoor sites for upper respiratory infection evaluation and testing conducted by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner, no-wait waiting rooms and stringent disinfection protocols at each location to help keep patients and staff healthy.
Crystal Run Healthcare has been working with area hospitals, including Montefiore Nyack, sharing information and resources. Healthcare facilities and hospitals have been preparing for the coronavirus and protocols have helped keep patients and staff safe.
We know it’s been increasingly difficult, but we still ask that everyone try to stay calm during this trying time. There’s no debating that the world around us has changed, a lot, in just the past several days. Please continue to follow all the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Thank you for your continued support and your help in keeping yourself and others healthy.
To learn more about Crystal Run Healthcare, visit crystalrunhealthcare.com and follow the practice on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.