Indiana University Health Ready to Meet Community Needs
Like all medical facilities around the country, Indiana University Health (IU Health) is responding to coronavirus (COVID-19). In the midst of this pandemic, patients are relying on PAs and other healthcare providers more than ever to diagnose, treat, and care for their symptoms.
Since COVID-19 spreads so easily, telemedicine is quickly becoming an ideal way for patients and providers to communicate. Lindsey Kocher, PA-C, has experience in both primary care and emergency medicine and recently joined IU Health’s Virtual Care Division. She talked to AAPA about how IU Health is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and how telemedicine is integral to the future of healthcare.
AAPA: Tell us about your role at IU Health.
Lindsey Kocher (LK): I worked for IU Health initially through the IU Health Bloomington Hospital emergency room in 2008. For the last four years I have worked in primary care and very recently accepted a position in the Virtual Care Division to head up a program focused on targeting our Accountable Care Organization patients who struggle to be seen in an outpatient setting due to physical and/or social barriers.
Can you tell us about the IU Health Virtual Visit app?
LK: The IU Health Virtual Visit app has been used as an on-demand service for patients seeking evaluation for various symptoms and concerns. We decided as the coronavirus was emerging in the U.S. that we could also utilize this service to offer patients free virtual coronavirus screenings that could be conducted in the safety and comfort of their own homes.
[Rush University PAs Integral to Coronavirus Response]
How does telemedicine specifically show promise for treating infectious disease/COVID-19?
LK: First and foremost, I believe we have the ability to improve containment efforts since we are able to properly educate patients on when and how to care for themselves and their family. We have been able to identify at-risk individuals and facilitate their safe transport to a health facility with proper infection prevention protocols already in place. Regarding infectious disease, telehealth can certainly expand our antibiotic stewardship by preventing or limiting unnecessary exposure of many viral illnesses in outpatient settings where there is a much higher risk of serious infection transmission among our most fragile patients.
Read the full article here.