Managing Your Health During the COVID-19 “New Normal”
Healthcare providers are meeting their patients’ needs in a variety of effective and safe ways in the “new normal” of COVID-19. Waiting rooms configured for social distancing and frequent disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, as well as virtual appointments, are allowing patients to manage their health and be safe.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the expanded use of telemedicine services is one way we’re keeping the lines of communication open, while also limiting the spread of virus,” said Dr. Vito DiCamillo, Medical Director for Lancaster General Health Urgent Care and Clinical Director of Corporate Partnerships.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the expanded use of telemedicine services is one way we’re keeping the lines of communication open, while also limiting the spread of virus.”
Dr. DiCamillo says video visits may be appropriate for some patients with certain health conditions who are practicing physical distancing or are unable to go to a healthcare facility in person.
“It’s very important for patients’ health and well-being that they follow the advice of their provider,” said Dr. DiCamillo.
Lancaster General Health patients can reach out to their practice by phone to determine if a telemedicine visit is a good option for them and to schedule an appointment. During the visit, a clinician can evaluate symptoms, confirm a diagnosis, and provide a treatment plan.
8 Tips for a Successful Video Visit
Dr. DiCamillo explains that these best practices help make virtual visits as successful as possible.
1. Download and test the virtual visit platform you’re using for your visit on your computer or mobile device. It’s important that you do this well before your visit so you are ready and able to connect with your provider during your scheduled appointment time. See instructions for BlueJeans, or connect to MyLGHealth for Penn Medicine OnDemand visits.
2. Plan to be at home when your appointment begins and throughout your virtual visit.
3. Choose a private, quiet space within your home where you can discuss any issues about your health.
4. Choose a comfortable space where your provider can see you and you can perform the steps of an examination, which may include standing or walking.
5. Make sure your Wi-Fi or cellular signal is strong. This will help ensure that your appointment is not interrupted by a dropped signal mid-visit.
6. Wear appropriate clothing for the type of visit you are having, similar to what you would wear to your provider’s office.
7. Avoid positioning yourself with your back to a window or light source. When used as backlighting on a video call, light can give you a harsh silhouette and make it difficult for your provider to see you. Try sitting with your back to a wall with light reflecting on your face instead.
8. Avoid distractions during your visit. Consider setting your mobile devices to “do not disturb” during your appointment time to limit cell phone calls, texts, and emails.
Learn more about telemedicine offerings at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.