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Guide to effective virtual visits during COVID-19

Topic: Guide to effective virtual visits during COVID-19

As the pandemic forces health care to adapt, virtual Well Woman visits can be offered as a safe approach to timely care.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, collaboration of insurance carriers, physicians, healthcare systems, and use of technology have allowed for accelerated uptake of telehealth. These innovations have been leveraged to respond to the changing needs of patients in an unpredictable landscape.

Because this pandemic is not transient, ob/gyn practices may need to further evolve to provide full-spectrum care for women remotely. Virtual Well-Woman Visits should be offered as a safe approach to timely care.

The decision to offer these virtual visits is patient-specific and may serve a purpose, depending on time and geography, particularly as some locations brace for the possibility of a second wave of the SARs-CoV-2 virus. Some practices may decide to incorporate this type of visit as an option for patients as a convenience or to maintain appropriate social distancing. Others may use it as a structured triaging tool to balance the urgency of in-person visits.

Because of their seemingly non-urgent nature, well-woman visits are prone to rescheduling or cancellation, by both patients and practices.

However, preventive measures addressed during these visits are crucial to maintaining positive health outcomes.1 Deferring screening for too long can result in avoidable urgent and emergent scenarios. Women who often face primary childcare responsibilities will be further challenged by distance learning, and social isolation may open the door for worse domestic violence and mental health concerns.

Given the uncertain duration of the COVID pandemic, the need to advocate for routine women’s health services in a patient-centered manner is essential.

Topic Discussed: Guide to effective virtual visits during COVID-19

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