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Metro Health Relies on Virtual Care to Continue Seeing Patients During COVID-19

Social distancing precautions are important, but so is a patient’s overall health. Metro Health is here for patients and their families and wants to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. This means finding innovative ways to continuing seeing patients at a safe distance.

Metro Health’s virtual care options allow for patients to stay in regular contact with their providers and care team amid COVID-19, while keeping both the patient and provider safe. Delaying care can be often be dangerous to a patient’s health when ongoing care needs are significant. In addition to primary care for annual check-ups and medication checks, all 14 Metro Health specialties are seeing patients through phone calls, emails and video visits.

“Virtual care has always been a part of our patient access strategy, but COVID-19 has rapidly shifted our focus from in-person care to virtual care in our primary and specialty care settings,” said Josh Wilda, Chief Information Officer, Metro Health – University of Michigan Health.”

Video visits are safe, secure and use a high-quality connection. When in-person visits are not possible, a video visit is the next best thing. This option provides a connected experience for the patient and provider, by supporting nonverbal cues like body language and facial expressions. Metro Health’s virtual care options have been very well received by patients.

“Our patients’ response to virtual care has been one of relief,” said Wilda. “When our office connects with patients, they have been grateful to be able to continue their care without having to come into the office or the hospital during these times of recommended social distancing.”

“Our endocrinology patients are simply happy that their physicians can see them from the safety of their own homes,” said Metro Health Endocrinologist, Dr. Edward Kryshak. “Many of our higher risk patients are afraid to leave their homes and virtual care options make continued care for this vulnerable population possible.”

New mothers are also among those grateful that they can stay connected to their OBGYNs without having to expose their newborns to unnecessary germs during traditional post-partum office visits.

“I had a patient last week that I did a video visit with who was six weeks post-partum,” said Steven Lown, OBGYN, Metro Health – University of Michigan Health. “It was a beautiful day outside and she was walking with her baby in a stroller. She said she loved it and commented how nice it was that she could be out walking her infant and do a visit at the same time.”

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, Metro Health has conducted 6,700 video visits. In addition to video visits, patients can take advantage of asynchronous visits for emailing their providers questions and concerns through Metro Health’s digital platform, MyChart.

To schedule a visit using one of Metro Health’s virtual care options, patients should reach out to their Metro Health provider. If you do not have a provider, please visit our Find a Doc page.