These past three months have been challenging for people all over the world. As health care providers, we have not had the privilege to stay at home to avoid exposure. As family physicians we have made ourselves available by phone, online and, at times, in person. Our first duty has been to our communities and our patients.
Over the past two months, many family medicine physicians have seen their practices develop or expand telemedicine capabilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This shift towards telehealth virtual care delivery has created equally great opportunities and challenges. Rapid modification of traditional outpatient workflow processes to support the provision of care in a virtual environment has been critical during the pandemic to maintain patient health care access and ensure medical practice viability. Although the changes in workday procedures has been profound for physicians and patients, we must consider that the impact of these changes has also been seismic in scale for support staff.
We have a racist among us and it is not a person. It has no particular involvement with any political party. This racist has crept in an insinuated itself into our homes, our schools, our workplaces and where our most vulnerable live, like nursing homes. Health disparities can be caused by economic status, race, close living conditions, limited access to continuous health care, geography, lack of green space and a paucity of healthy food access.
People were howling, setting fireworks off and celebrating at 8:00 pm to honor and support health care workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. This filled me with a sense of pride and hope that I and fellow health care workers are not in this alone but are supported by our neighbors and community that we serve.
COVID-19 has emerged and infected every aspect of our lives and well-being. With changes in billing and HIPPA regulations, utilizing telemedicine has allowed us to adapt in a short period of time, to protect our most vulnerable patients. It also offers protection for our safety on the frontlines as primary care physicians. Of course, as a wife and mother, I was relieved to protect my family. However, I can’t help but wonder, why did it have to take a global pandemic to protect our most vulnerable populations?
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged physicians around the country in so many unique ways. Family medicine physicians have faced the challenges of diagnosis and treating patients with COVID-19, protecting their work teams and now increasing financial strains—all of which threaten the practices.
Patients with EDS could have comorbid conditions that make them especially vulnerable to viral infections during this outbreak. The incorporation of telemedicine limits in-person visits and minimizes exposure to patients, staff and providers.
Discharged: Alive. That is the best thing I have read all week. My entire office celebrated. Our first COVID-19 patient fell ill quickly, became hospitalized, was transferred to intensive care and then intubated. I suppose in the bigger picture this may not seem like the biggest victory against the pandemic, but it was for our clinic.
Wow! What a weird time it’s been. As physicians, as humans, as citizens of our local communities and work families, as parents, as children, as partners, as business owners; we have had to decide how we will show up in the face of uncertainty.
One of the greatest challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic will be keeping a positive team culture during this time of crisis. Therefore, it is paramount during this crisis that physician leaders are purposeful in developing a positive work culture. Here are some ways in which you can do that.
Every morning when I go to the office, to the hospital, to nursing homes, I ask myself now, “am I doing my patients a favor?” Maybe I will make them sick. Or maybe they will make me sick. After very visit to the homeless shelter, I wonder, should I immediately go into a two-week self-isolation period? How do we do what we love professionally in the time of plague?
For COVID-19 patients, OMT procedures that are directed at augmenting lymphatic circulation should be considered. For further discussion of the treatment of patients with upper and lower respiratory tract disease, and descriptions of applicable OMT procedures, see chapters 24 and 25 in the second edition of Somatic Dysfunction in Osteopathic Family Medicine.
By Katarina Lindley, DO, FACOFPIncoming Chair, ACOFP Federal & State Legislation Committee; President, Texas ACOFP As we are all aware by now, we are dealing with global outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and it causes the disease named COVID-19. Most COVID-19 cases outside of China have been associated […]