Whether opening a satellite clinic to help patients in remote areas, or introducing innovative medical therapies, the providers and staff at Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates (FASA) strive to better patients’ lives by making care more accessible and by offering a spectrum of treatment options for below-the-foot ailments. In alignment with these values, FASA has added telemedicine appointments, also known as E-Visits, to their menu of services for 2020. A convenient option for patients with busy schedules, E-Visits will allow patients to video chat directly with providers.
Telemedicine appointments are an alternative format to traditional in-person healthcare visits. Instead of traveling to a doctor’s office, patients can connect with providers through a home computer or smartphone with video capabilities. Despite being conducted through a computer screen, E-Visit providers will still be able to assess patients, communicate health information, answer questions and guide patients through certain healthcare services.
Available to established FASA patients, a telemedicine appointment can be scheduled to answer questions, check on conditions, or follow up on discussions that don’t require in-person testing or examination. E-Visits work best for appointments that transmit information, like laboratory results, general inquiries or medication refills. E-Visit appointments can also be used to discuss results from tests like, PADnet, which can help diagnose peripheral vascular disease. In addition, a telemedicine appointment can serve as a follow up after a patient has improved in their condition. This can include a final appointment after completing treatment for conditions like plantar fasciitis.
Telemedicine appointments can be a way to access health care without having to carve out time to commute to a doctor’s office. Shelby Carter, the marketing director for Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, says that through E-Visits, patients might not have to take as much time off work, may have less interference with childcare and may have reduced travel expenses. E-Visits are also a more private care option because appointments can be conducted in a patient’s home, which can also help keep patients out of medical waiting rooms during cold and flu season.
Telemedicine appointments can be scheduled online through the secure FASA patient portal. Throughout each week, seven FASA providerswill be available for telemedicine services and each provider will be able to help patients remotely from most FASA locations.
To schedule an E-Visit, patients can visit the appointment section of the online patient portal, then select the telemedicine page. Under the telemedicine page, patients will then be able to review the providers who are on call for telemedicine services and their availability.
The providers and staff at FASA decided to introduce telemedicine appointments as a means to help improve patient processes and create a wider range of care options for patients, including patients without reliable access to transportation, patients with busy work schedules or patients with family obligations that make in-person visits difficult. Carter says FASA has been preparing to offer E-Visits for some time and the staff and providers are enthusiastic to add this service for 2020.
“The most exciting part for us is how beneficial these visits will be for some of our patients,” explains Carter. “The convenience of not needing to take time off work, find childcare or even the commute for some will be such an amazing thing for many. We have marked 2020 in our office as the year of the patient, with an emphasis on different ways we can help to make our office experience better and work with the lifestyle of those that are coming to see us. Technology is an amazing thing and we are so excited to be able to offer this service to our patients.”
As technology progresses in the medical field, it is a goal for the FASA team to implement innovative treatment options, like telemedicine, to better serve new and existing patients. As the year goes on, FASA is optimistic about the future of telemedicine services and the ways the service can grow.
“We are excited that we have the opportunity to offer another advanced option of care for our patients,” says Carter. “We pride ourselves in being at the top of any advances in our field and telemedicine is another one of those services we can offer to help make the lives of our patients better. We are excited to see how this program evolves and the benefits.”