/ by UK HealthCare
Checking in with your primary care physician is one of the best ways to live a happy, healthy life now and as you grow older. While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed face-to-face protocols in our hospitals and clinics, UK TeleCare offers the same expert care from our providers – all from the comfort and safety of your home. We caught up with Dr. Roberto Cardarelli, chair of UK Family & Community Medicine, to talk about both UK TeleCare and Urgent TeleCare options.
What should patients expect from a TeleCare appointment?
All of the care is provided by UK HealthCare physicians and providers. You will have the same personalized, intimate discussion as you would in the exam room.
For primary care, you’ll talk to your regular primary care provider. We want to keep everyone safe and at home, and part of that is making sure that your regular health maintenance is up to date. You’ll get a telephone call from a nurse to make sure that you’re ready for your appointment, and then you’ll get a Zoom link to meet virtually with your provider in a virtual exam room.
Is it HIPAA-compliant?
Yes, all of the applications and approaches that we use are safe, secure and HIPAA-compliant.
Is TeleCare easy to use?
Yes, it’s very easy to use. Once you download Zoom, we provide a step-by-step process for how to connect. As long as you have internet access of some sort from a phone, tablet or computer, you’ll be able to do a virtual visit. Sometimes, we can do an audio or phone visit if you don’t have the capability for Zoom.
What about Urgent TeleCare for acute symptoms or pain?
With Urgent TeleCare, patients get to call any time during working hours to connect with a provider. If you have acute needs such as upper respiratory symptoms, infection or anything that needs to be assessed acutely, you will call a free 800 number and get a link to use Zoom. You don’t have to purchase anything to use Zoom and can use it for free with an internet connection or data on a cell phone. From there, you’ll be connected with a healthcare provider and have an appointment, the same as you would in an in-person clinic.
What about the Urgent Care Center for walk-in patients? Is it still open?
Yes, the Urgent Care Center is still seeing patients face-to-face for those needs.
What else should our patients know about primary or urgent care at UK HealthCare?
Don’t postpone visits that are due, whether it’s for diabetes, heart failure, depression or anything else. Now, more than ever, it’s important that we maintain our health and wellness, and the health and wellness of our community.
TeleCare is designed to continue delivering high quality and effective, compassionate care to our patients. The last thing we want to do is to be at risk for a later “epidemic” if we don’t take care of our conditions: we must continue to manage chronic conditions today so that we don’t cause problems for tomorrow. We’re very happy to continue to serve our patients and ensure the health of our community through TeleCare.