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Telemedicine Services: The Next Logical Step

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to dramatically change our lives and the practice of medicine.  What is Telemedicine and How does it Work?   What are the Examples of Telemedicine?  What Telemedicine Services are available for Orthopedic Conditions?  Let’s dig in

What is Telemedicine and How Does it Work?

Telemedicine is the use of telecommunications technology to provide assessments and treatment recommendations between physicians and patients who are in separate locations.  One of the benefits of telemedicine is that the process is as simple as Face timing or Skyping with a friend.  At the Centeno-Schultz Clinic, we are committed to providing patients with access to medical care during these challenging times.  Why?

  • If left untreated many painful conditions can advance and cause more serious and permanent injury
  • Pain if untreated can prompt many patients to start or increase the use of narcotics putting them at risk for addiction
  • Pain can restrict activity and movement putting patients at risk for blood clots and pneumonia
  • Escalating pain may cause some patients to take NSAIDs which can potentially accelerate a viral infection (1).
  • Steroid injections can depress immune function and one’s ability to fight infections (2).

If you are a new patient with ongoing pain and injury or you an existing patient we are here to help you.  Telemedicine is a great option.  Using your cell phone, tablet or PC you will be able to connect with your physician from the comfort of your home, patio or office.  No more child or eldercare issues.  No need to navigate traffic, fight for a parking spot or sit in the waiting room.  Equally important you will eliminate any risk of viral infection.

Where to start?

  1. email  [email protected].
  2. No internet access?  Not a problem.  Call 720 669 8330
  3. No X-rays or MRIs?  Not a problem as new patient evaluations and follow up consults do not need imaging.
  4. No computer?  Not a problem as telemedicine can be completed in the comfort of your home on a cell phone or tablet.

What next?

You will receive three important documents via email.

  1. New patient evaluation form which is identical to the form you would complete in a doctor’s office.
  2. Links to self-examinations videos.  These are area-specific so if you suffer from neck pain, for example, you will receive a link to a cervical self-examination. The video will guide you through several movements such as bending your head toward the floor.  These videos are great in that it will allow you a much deeper understanding of your current pain condition and its limitations.
  3. Self-examination scorecard.  After each activity, you will rate yourself.  There is no judgment or criticism simply an honest evaluation of your ability to perform a specific activity.  This is critical to your doctor.

What then?  You will submit the new patient evaluation and self-examination scorecard via email to our office.  You will then receive an email notification with the date and time of your telemedicine visit along with a link.  At the appropriate time, you click the link and you will see the smiling face of your doctor.

What are Examples of Telemedicine?

There are many types of telemedicine services.  The most common include:

Live Interaction

Using different platforms such as Facetime, Skype or Zoom patients interact directly with their doctors in real-time. Heath concerns are addressed and questions are answered.

Store and Forward

Patients provide information on their condition along with video or pictures which are sent to their doctors.  The doctors then review the information and respond accordingly.  Lag times can delay and complicate this type of health care delivery.

Remote Patient Monitoring

Technology allows medical professionals to monitor and track key healthcare data such as blood pressure, glucose, heart rate, and weight.  No real-time interaction is possible but meaningful trends can be established which is critical to managing chronic disease conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart conditions.

What Telemedicine Services are available for Orthopedic Conditions?

Most orthopedic clinics are closed.  Elective surgeries are canceled.  Urgent care and emergency rooms are crowded and risk viral exposure.  At the Centeno-Schultz Clinic, we are here to help with your ongoing pain and orthopedic conditions.  With telemedicine we can provide you will a real-time consultation with a review of your current conditions, past medical and surgical history along with a review of your current x-ray and MRIs.  We offer board-certified, fellowship-trained physicians that are experts in the field of Interventional Orthopedics that can offer real nonsurgical options.  The use of NSAID and steroid injections are dangerous options during the COVID pandemic.  PRP and bone marrow concentrate are effective treatment options for many common orthopedic conditions.

In Conclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the practice of medicine.  Telemedicine is the use of telecommunications technology to provide assessments and treatment recommendations between physicians and patients remotely.  Different types of telemedicine services exist which include live interaction, store and forward and remote patient monitoring.  The Centeno-Schultz Clinic is committed to providing medical access to patients with ongoing orthopedic related pain and dysfunction.  Telemedicine enables real-time interaction with a fellowship-trained physician who can review current pain complaints, review imaging and provide assessment and treatment recommendations.  Treatment options include telemedicine PT.  Steroid injections, NSAIDs like urgent care and emergency rooms put patients at risk and should be avoided.  Pain if left untreated can escalate resulting in possible progression and permanent injury.  At Centeno-Schultz Clinic we are here to help you navigate these challenging times.

1. Day M. Covid-19: ibuprofen should not be used for managing symptoms, say doctors and scientists. BMJ. 2020;368:m1086.

2. Ciriaco M, Ventrice P, Russo G, et al. Corticosteroid-related central nervous system side effects. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2013;4(Suppl 1):S94–S98. doi:10.4103/0976-500X.120975.