Is Telemedicine here to stay?

          Message from John DiAngelo

           President and CEO, Inspira Health





While the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet behind us, I am happy to share that, currently, our number of COVID-19 patients appears to be on a downward trend in South Jersey. I strongly encourage everyone to follow Governor Phil Murphy’s latest executive order to limit our inside gatherings to less than 25 people. It will make a difference. We see the positive results for our community as we pay attention to social distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask when we leave our homes.

Is Telemedicine here to stay? To address many of your health care needs, I hope so.

Our community’s confidence to see their doctor over the phone or on their computer has been an encouraging outcome of this pandemic.

In early May, Inspira conducted an online survey of our community members to learn their interest in telemedicine. 79% of those who responded to the survey told us that they were moderately to very interested in using telemedicine during the pandemic. What’s more, many said they would be interested in using telemedicine services as the pandemic subsides, especially for primary care sick visits and primary care annual visits. We listened.

Today, more and more Inspira doctors’ offices are opening and many of us welcome the chance to re-connect with our doctors with a face-to-face meeting. But others have realized that they can receive the medical attention they need with a virtual visit.

From mid-March through mid-July, Inspira physicians hosted 27,721 patient visits through a variety of telemedicine options. Six months ago, some of us had never heard of ZOOM or rarely used FaceTime on our phones. Now this technology keeps us connected to our work, our families, and even our doctors.

If you are still putting off a visit to the doctors’ office, maybe now is the time to see if the telemedicine option meets your needs.

Inspira Medical Group Primary & Specialty Care

Inspira Medical Group primary care and specialty care provide appointments via telephone or virtually, whenever possible. A few doctors told me that their patients seemed to adjust to the telemedicine technology easier than they did! When a virtual appointment is scheduled, a simple click on the link that you receive starts the online session, using your PC, smartphone or tablet.

The process for making an appointment with an Inspira Medical Group physician remains the same. Patients can request an appointment as they normally would: on the Inspira website, www.inspirahealthnetwork.org; through the MyInspira app; by calling 1-800-INSPIRA; or by calling the doctor’s office.

Inspira Urgent Care

When things don't go as planned, Inspira has 11 Urgent Care Centers at convenient locations. Now we can see a doctor from the comfort of our home, or wherever we are, for many types of medical concerns.

Check-in online using https://www.inspiraurgentcare.org/locations or use the MyInspira app. Select 'ON-SITE' to save time and reserve a spot in line before you arrive or select 'VIRTUAL' to reserve a spot for a virtual visit.

Inspira Behavioral Health

At the beginning of the year, Dave Moore, our Executive Director of Behavioral Health, shared with me that he set a goal of transitioning 5% of our Behavioral Health therapy sessions to telemedicine. Then COVID-19 changed everything. Over the past several months, his therapists met with just about every one of their patients through telemedicine. His patients share the benefits they have experienced: a more relaxed feeling during the session; a sense that it offers more confidentiality since they aren’t arriving at an office; and that it is easier to continue therapy because of the scheduling flexibility and not overcoming transportation issues.

Patients can request an appointment as they normally would: on the Inspira website, www.inspirahealthnetwork.org; through the MyInspira app; by calling 1-800-INSPIRA.

Additional Telemedicine Services

Our dietitians continue to offer telemedicine to their clients. They note that they have to trust clients to report an accurate weight but that is the only limitation they have encountered! Clients enjoy having the flexibility to schedule an appointment after work or around their children’s activities.

The certified tobacco treatment specialists at our Quit Center offer a free smoking cessation assessment by phone. And, the six-week groups are now offered virtually.

Call 1-800-INSPIRA for more information about all of the telemedicine services at Inspira.

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