March 26, 2020 by Lucette Talamas
Why is ‘Flattening the Curve’ So Important with COVID-19?
As the number of COVID-19 cases in South Florida continues to rise, hospitals and emergency rooms are straining to provide care to all those who have the virus, think they may have the virus or may need treatment for some other illness or injury.
Avoiding the anticipated spike in COVID-19 cases – and ensuring that hospitals have the staff and resources to care for everyone who needs it – is the reason why residents across the country are being asked to embrace “social distancing” and “self-isolation.”
By limiting our exposure to the virus right now, we can help prevent the sharp spike in cases that is overwhelming medical facilities and personnel in countries around the globe. Rather than a sudden steep increase in cases that exceeds hospitals’ capabilities to respond, a gradual increase over time – “flattening the curve” – will ensure that supply matches demand for care during this dangerous global pandemic.
Telemedicine services such as Baptist Health Care On Demand, which allow you to consult with a healthcare professional from the safety of your home via your smartphone, tablet or computer – play a critical role in combating the COVID-19 crisis.
“Using the Baptist Health Care On Demand app as part of a front-line response to COVID-19 can help lessen the spread of the virus by allowing people to get medical care from home,” says David Mishkin, M.D., medical director for Baptist Health Care On Demand. “It also ensures that scarce hospital resources are reserved for higher-risk patients who require acute medical attention – including those who need care for conditions unrelated to the outbreak.”
There are a number of benefits using Baptist Health Care On Demand, according to Dr. Mishkin, including:
- No appointment required
- Providers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year
- You can get the urgent care you need for a wide variety of non-life-threatening conditions, without the cost of a hospital-based emergency room, from anywhere in the U.S.
- No surprise charges – virtual urgent care visits are just $59 (now FREE with code CARE19) and no subscription is required nor insurance needed
- Mental Health Counseling, Psychiatry, Breastfeeding Support and Diet & Nutrition, among other specialties, are also available via Care On Demand at different price points
Like “brick-and-mortar” healthcare facilities, Baptist Health Care On Demand, too, is seeing a spike in visits as more and more people seek treatment for COVID-19 infection.
“As the coronavirus continues to spread, the need for our care has never been greater. This week, we’ve been experiencing 10 times our average patient volume and, therefore, much longer-than-normal wait times,” Dr. Mishkin says. “Please know that our online doctors are working around the clock to keep you safe. We’re committed to providing telehealth as a free public service for the duration of this outbreak.”