COVID-19: Summit Medical Group expands video medical visit capacity

Summit Medical Group Oregon (SMGOR) announced Wednesday it now able to offer video medical visits with an urgent care provider to those with flu-like symptoms or who are concerned about COVID-19.

The hope is to help make it easy for patients to seek care, while mitigating exposure for all health care workers and patients to the coronavirus.

“We’ve worked quickly to set up and test our telemedicine platform, expanding on our nurse triage services and offering patients direct visits with an urgent care physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant,” said Russell Massine, MD, Chief Physician Executive, Summit Medical Group Oregon.” These visits significantly mitigate the risk of exposure for patients and health care workers while offering patients high quality medical consultation services from their homes.”

Individuals with a cough, fever, and/or shortness of breath developed in the last seven days can utilize SMGOR’s new telemedicine platform to visit with a physician or advanced practice provider on their phone, tablet or computer.

To use the service, patients should call 541-706-2319, and an SMGOR care team member will assist them in setting up a virtual visit appointment.

The care team will also register the patient, establish an online medical record account, and help the patient download the video visit app from the Google or Apple app store. The telemedicine visits are approved by Medicare and nearly all insurance companies in Oregon. Video visits are not for emergency services and patients experiencing life threatening emergencies still need to call 911 for care.

Massine said the goal is to reduce the burden on neighboring hospitals and provide patients with the reassurance of a virtual provider.

Because it is still cold and flu season, and allergy season is starting, SMGOR’s offices and urgent care centers continue to see a significant number of patients with these symptoms.

“Right now, if you’re feeling ill, it is still much more likely to be a cold or the flu rather than the coronavirus. As with the flu, most people who get coronavirus only experience mild viral symptoms such as fever, cough, muscle pain or weakness, and fatigue, and will experience a complete recovery,” he said.

SMGOR is rapidly expanding its ability to offer telemedicine visits with providers in other specialty areas, including primary care, infectious diseases; pulmonology; cardiology, nephrology; allergy; and many more. SMGOR continues to follow the latest CDC guidelines with COVID-19.

Along with the CDC, SMGOR recommends that patients at risk for COVID-19 who are not yet showing symptoms or have mild symptoms be evaluated virtually before going to an urgent care facility, doctor’s office or emergency department.

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