Telemedicine service at Premier Health treats patients while maintaining social distancing

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – From the palm of your hand or the comfort of your couch, Premier Health’s telemedicine service allows doctors to treat patients at their home. 

Patients feeling any symptoms can use their cell phone or a computer to request an e-visit through Premier Health’s Virtual Care. 

“We’re focused on those non-urgent health issues. You can imagine cold, flu, rash, those type of things that don’t generally need to be seen in an ER or urgent care,” said Alex Pohlman, Premier Health Director of Telehealth.

The service is available through a cell phone app or online. Patients will fill out a questionnaire explaining their concerns. They can then select a physician of their own or choose the first one available. A response is typically returned within a business day.

It’s more useful than ever for patients feeling symptoms of COVID 19.

“It might have questions related to your travel, how long have these symptoms persisted, the severity of them,” Pohlman said.

“In the current situation, it’s not the best to have everyone in the same place at the same time,” said Esteban Cheng-Ching, a neurologist at Premier Health.

Dr. Cheng spoke to 2 NEWS through Premier Health’s telemedicine cart. 

If a patient is at a doctor’s office instead of home, he can speak with, hear and see them even if he’s not at physically there. 

“We explain the what exactly we’re doing and that the care is exactly the same and the patients understand it,” Cheng said.

“With COVID making caring for patients a little more complicated in this situation, this is a way for us to protect our patients and providers,” said Michelle Post, Telehealth neurology program manager.

Using the virtual acre system instead of having people come into a doctor’s office, limits possible exposure of COVID 19 to the public and medical staff.

 “If you’re high or medium risk (according to the online questionnaire), we can direct you to a testing site,” Matthew Reeves, Chief of Integrated Care said.

The testing site currently at the University of Dayton Arena, is also designed to minimize exposure by keeping patients inside their vehicles. 

If you test positive, Reeves said you’ll be contacted with where to go.

“That way you can come in not exposed to the general waiting area and the health care providers can prepare for you,” Reeves said.

Utilizing the online system can minimize spread of COVID 19 every step of the way.

Dr. Cheng believes their use will increase. He said, “Using telehealth is the present and it’s going to be the future as well of medicine.”

There is a cost to the services. An e-visit costs a minimum of $35 out of pocket however the final price depends on a number of factors including health insurance coverage.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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