Steward Health Care today announced the implementation of telehealth visits, including the use of Microsoft Teams and FaceTime appointments with Steward Medical Group (SMG) providers, to expand access to care in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 and give patients peace of mind that they can receive the medical care they need without having to go to the doctor’s office.
The telehealth video visits – conducted via smartphone, or a desktop or laptop equipped with a web camera – are well suited for patients who may have flu-like symptoms and want to speak with a physician; or they may be for patients experiencing other routine ailments but do not want to travel to the office for fear of a potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
“Given the COVID-19 pandemic, Steward Medical Group is giving our patients an alternative to coming to the doctor’s office to receive their care,” said Michael Callum, MD, FACS, president of Steward Medical Group. “We are health care providers who are used to being innovative in our delivery of high-quality care. Telehealth visits will provide our patients the care they need and want, as well as mitigate the spread of COVID-19 virus by letting patients see our doctors from the comfort and security of their own home.”
Telehealth appointments are available for Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, as well as a broad range of specialized care including Cardiology, Orthopedics, and Women’s Health.
“The addition of telehealth appointments will make receiving care convenient for patients of Steward physicians, Sharon Regional Medical Center and Trumbull Regional Medical Center in Warren, Ohio,” said James Shina, MD, Regional Medical Director of Steward Medical Group in Ohio and Pennsylvania. “We are committed to helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and this will be a great benefit to patients in that effort.”
Patients can access telehealth appointments with their physician or caregiver in two ways: using Microsoft Teams application or Apple FaceTime with an iPhone or iPad. Patient telehealth appointments will be scheduled through their doctor’s office and any patient needing an appointment should call their doctor’s office.
Once a telehealth visit is scheduled, the doctor’s office will provide patients with an email invitation for their appointment time, along with detailed instructions on how to download and use either the Microsoft Teams or FaceTime applications, if they do not already have access to them.
“Telehealth appointments will provide peace of mind for our patients,” said Dr. Callum. “In this new age we are living in, we are working hard to make access to care as easy and safe as possible for our patients.”
Approximately 3,000 Steward Medical Group providers are available to conduct telehealth visits. Steward Medical Group operates practices in 11 states.
For patients who prefer to see their doctor in person, Steward Medical Group clinics are open and continue to welcome patients for their appointments. The health care organization is closely monitoring COVID-19 and is following guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization, and is working closely with local and state health departments in the care of patients.