BROOKINGS – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brookings Health System recently began offering telehealth visit options for nutrition consultations and speech therapy. Telehealth visits allow patients to still have access to medical services while maintaining social distancing.
“We have continued to see patients in our building,” said Lindsey Bothwell, speech-language pathologist, “but some of our therapy kids are more immunocompromised and some parents weren’t comfortable with bringing their kids to the hospital.” Finding a way to meet with patients one way or another helps to avoid losing any therapy progress that has been made.
Telehealth visits take place via a HIPAA compliant platform, ensuring personal health information still stays confidential. These visits are ideal for those who are not comfortable bringing themselves or their children into a public setting yet. Patients are sent paperwork and any other needed material in the mail along with an email containing a link to log in for their appointment. Visits are required to have audio and visual.
“You’re going to get the same education that you’re going to get if you would come in in-person,” Dietitian Katy VanderWal said. She also added that if it is a covered service, there is added convenience for those that live out of town or that receive home health care.
In order to access these services, a doctor referral is required. Before making an appointment, Brookings Health recommends patients contact their insurance provider to ensure telehealth services will be covered. Face to face appointments are still available if telehealth options are not covered.
Brookings Health plans to continue looking for ways to expand telehealth options for other services. More information about Brookings Health’s full service line can be found on brookingshealth.org/services.