The New Look of Medical Care: A Mix of Video, Phone, and In-Person Visits
As North Carolina begins phases of reopening, LeBauer HealthCare is continuing to offer virtual visits as well as modified in-person care in offices. While North Carolina has been successful so far in flattening the COVID-19 curve, doctors realize resuming care in the way it was offered before the pandemic could put patients at risk and cause a spike in cases.
Here’s a look at the latest changes in care at LeBauer offices throughout the Triad and how video and telephone visits will continue to play a crucial role in patient care.
Virtual Visit Options are Here to Stay
Video visits have proved so popular with patients that the option will remain even after the COVID crisis is over. Providers have found video visits effective for diagnosing and treating a wide range of illnesses as well as for follow-up and wellness care.
“We can tell a lot by video by looking at you to see how you are breathing and your facial expression,” says Dr. Stacey Blyth with LeBauer Primary Care at MedCenter High Point. “Eighty percent of medicine is in the interview with the patient anyway…That interview and the conversation helps me know how to take care of you.”
Video visits are available for both primary care and specialty care patients, including counseling services. For urgent needs, same-day appointments are available. For patients without access to technology, telephone visits are available.
Changes to Office Visits
Office visits are available for patients without COVID-19 symptoms or exposure. For example, some patients require lab work or screenings such as a blood pressure check, a pap smear, or a strep test. Office visits also allow providers to check for fluid in the ears or lungs or perform other physical exams.
To reduce the risk of any COVID-19 exposure, LeBauer offices have found creative ways to change the usual office visit. These changes include:
- Safer Waiting – Some offices may have patients wait in the car and then call or text them when staff is ready for them to come inside. Offices with larger waiting rooms or lower patient volume are modifying processes to ensure fewer patients are in the waiting area at any one time and that they are spaced more than 6-feet apart.
- Masks – All patients, providers, and staff will wear masks. If you do not have a mask, we will give you one.
- Sanitizing – All exam rooms are cleaned thoroughly between patients. Touchpads, door handles, and other surfaces in the front office are sanitized every hour.
- LeBauer Staff Screening – All LeBauer staff and providers are screened each day they come into work. They answer a series of questions about any possible COVID-19 symptoms and exposure for themselves and those they live with.
- Hand Washing – All nurses and providers use appropriate hand washing or sanitizing upon entering and exiting the exam room.
“We’re using precautions to make our offices safe for both patients and our team. It’s actually safer than going to the grocery store,” says Dr. Blyth.
Patients with COVID-19 symptoms will be scheduled for a same-day video visit. If a patient with symptoms requires testing or in-person care, their doctor will direct them about how to access a testing site or receive care safely.
Call to Find Out Which Type of Visit You Need
Whether you are a new patient or an existing patient, you can call LeBauer and talk to our team to determine if you need a virtual visit or an in-person visit. See phone numbers for all of our locations. New patients can also request an appointment with this convenient online form, and existing patients can request non-urgent appointments in MyChart.