Doctors turn to telehealth, patients avoid urgent care visit

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A lot of patients are turning to telehealth resources to get diagnosed for mild illnesses to avoid those places where the pandemic may be prevalent.

“It is a service out there that even insurances are using because it is convenient, the cost is much less,” Dr. Cynthia Collins said.

Dr. Collins, with MDLIVE, said she can see patients within a matter of minutes for an examination and diagnosis. She can write prescriptions and referrals as well.

“For the busy world we’re in right now, it serves it’s purpose,” Collins said. “Of course we get all of the COVID-19 concerns and fear calls, but we also get our traditional I’m sick, but I don’t want to go to the brick and mortar, I definitely don’t want to go to the ER.”

Collins said calls have gone up 50-percent since January. Patients are able to be assessed for all types of illnesses, but depending on the severity, telehealth can be limited.

“Life-threatening illnesses we do know our limits and we are able to refer them out and suggest they will have to make that trip to their local ER,” Collins said.

Collins predicts even once we flatten the curve of COVID-19 in the U.S., virtual healthcare will remain a popular resource for patients to seek medical treatment. Collins said she’s evaluated patients from the comfort of their couch, car, workplace, wherever they are.

“We are saving lives in our own way on the front line 24/7, 365 days, we are there,” Collins said.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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