How to avoid patient care interruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic
The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way in which healthcare professionals and patients across the globe interact and how patient care is delivered. With the reduction of face-to-face appointments, many healthcare providers found themselves transitioning to Telehealth and remote patient monitoring services, thus impacting traditional patient care.
Qardio spoke with Dr. Steve Elias, Director, Center for Vein Disease at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey, to understand how he was able to continue delivering effective patient care during the pandemic.
Make use of the digital tools available Living in a digital world enables healthcare professionals to use the technological tools available in order to maintain continuous contact with patients. As Dr. Elias explains, “patient care does not have to be interrupted thanks to technology today. With Telehealth, a patient can have a virtual consultation prior to any procedure. As doctors, we are able to discuss all options in advance virtually. Implementing health technology early on during COVID-19 allowed me to see my patients as well as teach other surgeons new procedures and options in treating vein disease and deep vein thrombosis.”
Reassure patients of all safety measures
Due to both the highly infectious nature of COVID-19 and the global advice to stay home, many patients who needed treatment for cardiovascular diseases avoided the hospital and doctor’s office, which further deteriorated their condition. With regards to reassuring patients and continuing their care, Dr. Elias explains that “it’s important to remind patients that everyone who works in the healthcare industry has taken the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of germs, even more during a pandemic. We may be in a pandemic, but this does not delay any other medical concern.”
Empower patients to manage their health
It is the patient’s responsibility to take control of their own health and seek help when needed. According to Dr. Elias, “patients should always prioritize their healthcare. This starts with a phone call to their doctor’s office, where options of either virtual or in-person consultations are presented and discussed. In this way, no condition gets prolonged into a potentially bigger problem.”
Steve Elias MD FACS FAVLS is Director, Center for Vein Disease at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey. He is the Founder of the American Venous Forum Fellows/Residents Course in Vein Disease which educates graduating physicians about the management of vein disease.