When the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) received the greenlight from the state to reopen some in-person doctor visits at a limited capacity, EBNHC CMO Dr. Jackie Fantes and President and CEO Manny Lopes said that the Health Center will look much different to patients during a recent Zoom town hall meeting.
EBNHC has already ramped up in-person visits but limited its capacity to 25 percent of what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. To ensure safety and proper hygiene protocols outlined by the state the Health Center will not be performing general checkups like physical exams.
However, while EBNHC will be putting the safety of its patients and staff first, the Health Center will rely more heavily on Telehealth technology to keep quality healthcare going in this new virtual world.
Dr. Fantes said that EBNHC introduced Telehealth over a year ago in limiti capacities, but the COVID-19 pandemic has moved the relatively new healthcare technology to the forefront.
“We got ‘Zoomed’ quickly into Telehealth during this pandemic,” said Dr. Fantes. “It is something we’ve had on a radar for a while and now we are up and running with both voice and video Telehealth calls. We are still trying to figure out the bits and pieces of technology but we are getting better as each day goes by. It is a really good way to get in touch with your provider.”
Dr, Fantes said there’s a lot of pent up demand for healthcare out there during the pandemic and Telehealth is a good way to check in with EBNHC providers while still practicing social distancing.
“I know folks are getting really good care through this technology and I encourage folks to continue to do that,” she said.
Telehealth is the remote delivery of health care services and clinical information using communications technology, including the internet, wireless, satellite and phone media.
So far the Health Center has had thousands of Telehealth visits while patients remain safe in their homes.
Telehealth has become of paramount importance to ensure the safety of patients and health care providers. It allows patients the opportunity to seamlessly continue their care while practicing social distancing, remaining in their home, and minimizing their exposure to the virus.