Unprecedented times call for unprecedented timelines.
Shortly after COVID-19 arrived in our community, we successfully accelerated our efforts to launch a telehealth program with our partners at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana and TytoCare.
In less than two months, our providers and their care teams have completed nearly 3,700 telehealth visits.
North Clinic Physician Assistant Ashley Berkram, has been completing telehealth visits from her home since March. Her days all start the same: connecting with nurse Lakota Lawson, LPN. According to Ashley,
“Lakota is amazing. She calls each patient prior to me seeing them to make sure they can sign into the TytoCare application, checks them in and talks to them about their vitals and anything they would like to discuss.”
“Visits with patients via the secure telehealth platform can last anywhere from eight to 50 minutes,” says Ashley. Working closely with her schedulers, care coordinator, pharmacist, behavioral health providers and care manager, Ashley and her team make sure each patient receives gold standard care.
Telehealth allows our providers to see their patients in their comfort zone and from their home. If they have a number of risk factors, it means that providers like Ashley can care for patients without bringing them into the clinic and potentially exposing them to additional risks.
She does miss the personal touch, though. And while Telehealth is not appropriate for every person or every condition, she believes that telehealth will continue to have a place in her practice going forward.
“I want to thank the community for being patient with us…we are in uncharted waters. It is nice to know that we have options to take care of our patients. Telemedicine is good option now and will continue to improve our ability to care for our community in the future.”