Tele-Health and Coronavirus: See a Doctor from Home Via ‘Care On Demand’

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March 6, 2020

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This post is available in: Spanish

Overall, most cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19, involve mild symptoms, including fever and a dry cough, that can be home-treated without medical intervention.

Following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Baptist Health South Florida is encouraging people who may be experiencing symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 to stay home and see a doctor from their smartphone, tablet or computer via the Baptist Health Care On Demand app. Online healthcare providers can answer any question, evaluate your risk, and provide support to relieve symptoms.

“Care on Demand is really the first ‘front door’ potentially for many patients regarding this illness,” explains David Mishkin, M.D., medical director of Baptist Health Care On Demand. “We advise patients who may be low-risk, and we can be a resource for patients who may be of higher risk. We can start that pathway to get you care.”

(Watch Now: The Baptist Health News Team hears from David Mishkin, M.D., medical director of Baptist Health Care On Demand. Video by Anthony Vivian.)

Some patients will develop pneumonia, which is a condition that can fill lungs with fluid, potentially causing difficulty breathing in some patients. “Some of these patients will be affected to different degrees of severity,” says Javier Pérez-Fernández, M.D., pulmonologist and critical care director at Baptist Hospital of Miami. “And most of them, luckily, present with mild to moderate disease.”

Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, M.D., said at a news conference this week that “most individuals with COVID-19 will have a mild case — 80 percent of individuals will be home-treated.” Those who are experience serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, should seek immediate medical attention.

“It’s very important that patients are advised properly, especially when they need to come into hospitals and emergency departments for care,” says Dr. Mishkin. “We can guide them through our tele-platform.”

He adds that Baptist Health’s Care On Demand has “specific protocols when a patient does meet (COVID-19) criteria for an in-person evaluation based on their assessment on our tele-platform (Care On Demand).”

“We’re going to guide them by notifying the facility, working with our infection control team and the Department of Health to make sure that it’s done in a very safe and smooth manner,” said Dr. Mishkin.

Online caregivers via Baptist Health Care On Demand are prepared to follow the appropriate CDC protocols and most recent process in place for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

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