Upper Great Lakes Family Health offering remote appointments during pandemic

Published: Apr. 15, 2020 at 10:38 PM EDT
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For the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak Upper Great Lakes Family Health is holding telephone and virtual appointments with a majority of their patients to help suppress the spread of the coronavirus.

"Now we're having to tap into patients utilizing their smart phones, their computers, or even their telephones. We were not able to do telephone visits before, now we are able to do them during this crisis," said Shannon Richter, COO of Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center.

Prior to the outbreak the health care facility only used tele-health technology for patients who were present at a different clinic.

"The federal and state guidelines have loosened restrictions and our ability to get reimbursed, so we've been allowed to expand this into being able to see these patients in their home which is something that we weren't able to do before," added Richter.

While the Upper Great Lakes Family Health is utilizing remote appointments, their clinics are open for more serious health issues.

"We're still seeing patients, but we are screening our patients and determining which patients do need to come in. Those would be urgent patients, those with an urgent medical condition, and those that we can turn into a virtual appointment using tele-technology," said Richter.

The health care provider would also like to remind everyone to practice good hygiene to stay healthy during this time.

"Making sure that they're doing lots of good hand washing, and make sure you wash them for at least 20 seconds. Social distancing as well, that is probably one of the biggest things that anyone can do right now is ensure that they're staying at least 6 feet away from everybody," said Richter.

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