January 2021 update; much of the entry below is the same. We are currently in our 3rd surge of the COVID-19 Pandemic now 10 months past our March ‘lock down’ and are regularly wearing masks and should continue to do so when around others in public buildings (even when social distance if in an enclosed room for more than a few minutes.)
…and the Unites States and, thus, the Texas vaccine ‘roll out’ has gotten underway (for the past few weeks.)
March 2020: Here in Houston as we are about to hear this morning regarding a ‘Shelter-in-Place’ order, for all the news we have heard and read, this should not change our activities much. We should all be social distancing and eating meals at home, only going out for groceries or outdoor exercise and working from home where possible. What about essential appointments?
This requires some forethought and planning along with prudential judgement. First, what is an essential appointment? Is your car inspection essential given that your registration renewal is due this month? What about that doctor’s visit (follow up and/or acute)? The next step is to check for ‘dispensation’ such as from the Governor’s office for car registration deadlines. Or with your doctor to call and see if that visit is one that can be delayed or performed using a ‘Televisit’.
Currently a televisit can be done by phone or video chat depending on your doctor’s office capacity. Regulations that would normally require video along with audio technology to have such a visit are being relaxed to allow for audio alone in many cases. If possible, however, it would be best to have a video/audio visit to give your doctor that invaluable information of observing your demeanor and physical status that a visual inspection (even at a distance) can provide beyond simple conversation.
For our practice, patients who have given their email address can receive a ‘Patient Portal’ invitation to register online or patients may download the ‘Healow App’ on their on their tablets or smartphones. This patient portal has the capacity now for audio/visual televisits. If you have any questions regarding this do not hesitate to call to help set this up and schedule your televisit.