Shifting how we provide women’s health care during a global health crisis
Suffice it to say we are in an unprecedented time of vast and rapid changes to our society. And while most things in life seem to have been halted some things, like women’s health care, just can’t be paused. Luckily we live in the 21st century, and like shopping and socializing, we can now visit with doctors virtually.
We at Lona Sasser are dedicated to women’s health care, and that hasn’t changed because of the current global crisis. We have been able to adjust and pivot our practice in order to maintain service for our patients. If you are in Coral Springs, Florida and have non-emergency medical questions, the office of Lona Sasser Obstetrics & Gynecology is now offering telemedicine. You can call the office at 954-340-1050 to schedule an appointment and our staff will instruct you through the process. If you are a new patient, you can book an in-office visit with us for later this summer by clicking here.
Because we have switched to telemedicine services, we are only able to serve our current patients. However, we believe that because of our experience, we are able to offer some insights to help others better use of this new virtual tool. Keep reading for our tips on how to get the most out of your telemedicine experience.
Telehealth: what is it and how does it work?
Every health practitioner’s office and/or practice will likely implement different norms and protocols. But in short, telemedicine is the use of phone calls and video calls to tend to patients’ questions, concerns, and check-ups from the comfort of their homes. Regardless if it is specific to women’s health care or other health contexts, this helps in two main ways:
- Lowers the patient’s risk of contracting COVID-19
- Lowers the risk of the patient compromising doctors and other fellow patients who may still have to go to the office
How can telemedicine help with women’s health care?
Many times, patients schedule in-office appointments for certain health concerns that may not need to be addressed in person. There are, of course, certain needs that must be addressed in person with a medical professional. However, before that is the chosen course of care, telemedicine can help check in with patients to assess if they need to come in.
Specifically for women’s health care, we, for example, meet with our patients over the phone for birth control refills/changes/issues, mastitis, urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms, previously untreated vaginal infections (e.g. yeast, bacterial vaginosis), post-operative visits, and postpartum visits.
Here are a few insights we have learned to make the experience helpful and thorough:
- First, this may sound silly but take a few deep, intentional breaths. This is a stressful time and taking a moment to take a breath will help you to focus so that you can have an effective and helpful conversation with your medical provider over the phone. There is no need to add stress, especially when it can be quelled with a few meditative inhalations and exhalations.
- Prepare your notes and questions. This happens in person as well, but when meeting virtually, it is easy to feel flustered and lose your attention. Preparing your notes (what you feel, symptoms, thoughts, concerns, etc.) and questions for your healthcare provider can help make sure you feel you were properly seen and assessed.
- Be honest. We don’t want you compromising yourself because you are scared of the risks associated with leaving the house and venturing outside. If something feels pertinent and very important, tell your provider and they will help you make the right decision. By the same token, ask yourself: do I need to leave the house, or is my anxiety making me feel more nervous?
Remember, when in doubt, consult your doctor. They are there to help. Remember to breathe and take care of yourself!