Coronavirus (COVID-19): Important Information From Tri-City Medical Center Learn more

TCMC Telemedicine Awareness Month

TCMC Telemedicine Awareness Month

The Benefits of Telemedicine for Patients at Tri-City Medical Center Outpatient Clinics

“We are certainly seeing more patients through telemedicine in our outpatient clinics at Tri-City Medical Center because of the pandemic,” said Vanessa Cordova, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner at Tri-City Primary Care. “It offers so many benefits, especially for our elderly patients, that it continues to increase in popularity. I see anywhere from two to four patients a day via telemedicine.”

Telemedicine, also called telehealth, allows a healthcare provider to care for a patient remotely via an online video or phone call. It requires a patient to have access to a laptop, desktop computer, smartphone or tablet with a camera, microphone and speaker, as well as Internet connection. Although California law allows new patients to establish a relationship with a doctor using telemedicine, most physicians prefer to see a new patient in person before scheduling telemedicine appointments.

Three of the outpatient clinics at TCMC, Orthopedic Specialists of North County, Tri-City Primary Care and Urology San Diego, use a cloud-based software called TCMC Behavioral Health Services offers telemedicine through Zoom’s Healthcare at Home and Seaside Medical Group of Tri-City uses athenaTelehealth, which is part of its patient portal. All are a private, secure and HIPAA compliant platform, which protects a patient’s health information.

“Our patients find easy to set up and simple to use,” said Ms. Cordova. “We send a link to an established patient via email or text to set up an appointment – there are no downloads required or need to install a new app on their phone. Should patients have any questions regarding the software, our medical assistants are there to help.”

The convenience of virtual or video visits makes it easy for patients to see their doctor – from the comfort of their own home, office or car, or while traveling. No longer do patients have to drive to the clinic, take time off from work or obtain childcare. This option allows them to avoid sitting in a waiting room, thereby limiting their exposure to others who are sick.

“We are able to offer more same-day appointments for our patients using telemedicine,” added Ms. Cordova. “Additionally, we use the hospital’s interpretation services and have bilingual staff (Spanish and Chinese), which enables us to communicate with foreign-language speaking patients, all of which facilitates better quality of care.”

“Many of our patients struggle with transportation to doctor visits, whether it’s due to advanced age or limited financial resources, causing them to miss appointments and their health to possibly decline,” continued Ms. Cordova. “Our telemedicine service takes away this stress, allowing patients to receive the health care they deserve. Often after a telemedicine assessment, I am able to order the services they need much quicker than if I waited for them to come in.”

“As a healthcare provider, I love the convenience of telemedicine because it improves continuity of care and gives me another option to build my relationship with my patients. I believe that patients are very satisfied with the experience and the care they receive. It is covered by most insurance companies, including Medicare, just like an in-office visit. I would encourage everyone to talk to their doctor about the benefits of telemedicine visits.”

To learn more about its services, visit Tri-City Medical Center or call 855.222.8262.

Click here to set up a telemedicine appointment with one of the following outpatient clinics: Tri-City Primary Care, Orthopedic Specialists of North County, Urology San Diego, Seaside Medical Group of Tri-City, and TCMC Behavioral Health Services.