John Lewis

Five things you should know about Telehealth

By John Lewis

Five things to know about Telehealth in South CarolinaTelehealth isn’t a brand new concept. Some clinics and hospitals have used live video to connect to patients for several years. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has taken on a new significance. Below are five things you should know about telehealth in South Carolina. For elderly and immuno-compromised patients, a video appointment offers a safe way to see a doctor while limiting exposure to the Coronavirus. And for those who have contracted the virus without symptoms strong enough to go to intensive care, telehealth has become a way for doctors to track their progress in...

Concussion partnership benefits athletes at Florence school

By John Lewis

McLeod Health athletic trainer Joe Cauble runs concussion test through telehealth.Thomas Woods doesn’t remember exactly what happened during Labor Day football practice, but he’ll try to piece it together. “I remember being on the ground,” Woods says, “and my coach asking me what was wrong, and trying to explain that my head was hurting.” Woods is a starting linebacker for The King’s Academy, a private school in Florence. After the big hit, coach Keith Rogers had teammates drive Thomas home and drop off his truck at his house. The next day, Thomas and his mom met with the McLeod athletic trainer assigned to the school, who said Thomas probably had a concussion. That led to...

Healthcare providers share experience using telehealth during pandemic

By John Lewis

A diabetic patient takes his blood pressure using a remote monitoring program.The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most South Carolinians to stay home whenever possible. While healthcare professionals have recommended avoiding clinics and hospitals without calling your doctor first, many providers throughout South Carolina have taken advantage of the state's telehealth network to provide care remotely. Through secure live video, healthcare providers can connect with patients wherever they are to deliver care. We asked providers across the state to share their experience with telehealth during the pandemic. From family medicine to psychiatry and pediatrics , in Charleston...

Researchers Discuss Telehealth's Role in Coronavirus Response

By John Lewis

Dr. David McSwain connects to a patient room at MUSC through telehealth.In his downtown Charleston office, Dr. David McSwain is getting ready for a conference call with dozens of pediatric telehealth experts from across the country. As the co-founder and lead investigator on SPROUT (Supporting Pediatric Research on Outcomes and Utilization of Telehealth) , Dr. McSwain is bringing the group together to discuss how each hospital system is using telehealth to address the coronavirus pandemic. “We’re well-suited to address the emerging issues that impact telehealth such as COVID-19,” Dr. McSwain says, after introducing himself to the group. “And in fact, it is our...

Insurance companies' telehealth policies during COVID-19

By John Lewis

A doctor connects to a rural hospital from his office through telehealth.As hospitals focus more attention on addressing the coronavirus pandemic , insurance companies and healthcare providers are emphasizing the use of telehealth services for patients that are not critically ill or presenting symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, shortness of breath). "South Carolina insurance companies are requested to incentivize doctors to treat patients with non-COVID-19 issues by telehealth, rather than in-person," Governor Henry McMaster said in a news conference on Tuesday. "If it can be done without an in-person visit, do that. That will allow space for those who do need to...

How to access free telehealth services during COVID-19

By John Lewis

Dr. Bryon Frost, in his Florence office, uses telehealth for virtual appointments with patients.To help assess patients with potential COVID-19 symptoms, several South Carolina healthcare providers are offering free access to telehealth services. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath), telehealth is a great way to be screened by a care provider without having to go to a doctor's office or hospital. "Telehealth is an extremely logical solution to a public health concern like this," said MUSC infectious disease physician Amanda Parks. "We're talking about a highly communicable disease. It's highly transmissible. And particularly when you have...

Doctors Urge Common Sense, Caution in Response to Coronavirus

By John Lewis

A doctor conducting a telehealth visitAs COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, doctors at the Medical University of South Carolina have spent much of their time in the past few weeks reminding people to use common sense, and not to panic. “If you think you are sick, the best thing to do is to stay home,” says Dr. Amanda Parks, an infectious disease specialist at MUSC. “For something like a respiratory virus, generally, what we’re going to do in the office or the ER is the same thing you’re going to do at home, which is supportive care.” If you do experience symptoms that aren’t strong enough to warrant a trip to the...

MUSC providing free telehealth screenings amid Coronavirus concerns

By John Lewis

The hospital says its virtual urgent care platform is available to any South Carolina resident for free.The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) announced it will provide free telehealth visits to any South Carolina resident who is experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus (respiratory infection, fever, cough, flu-like symptoms). “This secure, virtual care option will help with infection prevention and control, while also allowing patients to receive care without exposing themselves or others to further sickness in the hospital setting,” MUSC said in a news release on Saturday. The Department of Health and Environmental Control said Sunday afternoon it is monitoring six “presumptive...

Telepsychiatry Plays Critical Role in Residency Training

By John Lewis

A doctor and patient use tele-psychiatry for an appointment.Dr. Josh Jackson found his calling in medical school, after his first experience with psychiatry. “I really felt like I could connect with the patients on a different level than I could on some other specialties,” said Jackson. He’s the chief resident in psychiatry at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, preparing for life after residency training when he’ll be a practicing psychiatrist. He says part of his training involved telehealth, using live video to conduct appointments with patients in remote parts of the state while he stayed in Columbia. “In 2012, we were able to...

Cardiology Connection Keeps Care Local for Hampton Family

By John Lewis

Robinson meeting with his doctor via telehealth.Andrea Robinson is a self-described workaholic. He says he took a lot of pride in his job leading a construction crew. When his doctor told him that he needed to slow down for the sake of his health, he didn’t want to listen. “I was hard-headed and I kind of overdid it,” Robinson says. “My doctor was concerned for my health and he sent an email to my job and said I couldn’t do it no more.” Robinson has kidney disease and congestive heart failure. The life-changing diagnosis forced him into early retirement. But he wasn’t anticipating how much of his life would be dedicated to managing his...

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