URMC’s telehealth visits soar, paving way to new future of healthcare

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) –Telehealth visits are soaring in the wake of covid-19 with leaders at University of Rochester Medical center says this technology has changed the way they do things, but it hasn’t completed replaced in person visits- and they are finding the best way to improve the technology while still seeing patients in person. ​

URMC leader says their telehealth visits have went from 200 visits a day, to more than 2,000 a day, and this new technology is helping to improve the communication between patients and doctors while reaching people that have traditionally been faced barriers to getting health access. ​

While hospitals have limited procedures as the deal with covid-19 ​family medicine and internal medicine practices at URMC have continued​because of telemedicine. ​

“Both of those groups we’re able to actually get back up to normal visits volumes by employing telemedicine during the pandemic,” said Gregg Nicandri, M.D. Chief Medical Information Officer Associate Professor of Orthopedics.

The virtual visits can be anything from a phone call to a video chat- and health professional say it has increase access, convenience and comfort.​

It also as helped keep the numbers of people going to hospitals low-​and even provided another way to get health advice with having to go into a facility.​

“A lot of patients appreciate and just find easier is just having a phone call with a physician especially when they’re in that group that is afraid of doesn’t want to come to the hospital or wondering whether they really need to be seen so it’s helpful to have that kinda of phone call consultations,” said Nicandri.

Leaders say video visits can become a big part of the way we practice primary care going into the future.​

“With a little extension of technology into the community so that people can measure they’re own blood pressure, heart rates weights oxygen level we’ll be able to talk care of a much broaden segment of the populations as well,” said Wallace Johnson, M.D. Director, UR Medicine Primary Care Network.

Doctors say the next step is getting these health visits covered by insurance-and effort to get rid of that the finical challenge of accessing heath care.

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