With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual visits are playing an even more important role in patient care. For Dr. Christine Braid of Dignity Health Mercy Medical Group in Citrus Heights, California, video visits have presented an opportunity to connect with patients on a human level over the last month.
When one of Dr. Braid’s patients, who was struggling with social distancing and isolation, reached out, Dr. Braid was able to comfort her patient virtually.
“When our video connected, she cried, ‘I’m so happy to see your face! I feel better already!’ We talked about how she was feeling and her health,” said Dr. Braid.
Through the video visit, Dr. Braid was able to share educational documents, refer the patient to continue her treatment, send medication to the pharmacy, and email documents, all with the click of a button.
“By the time we ended, she was laughing and smiling from ear to ear,” said Dr. Braid.
Social distancing has been hard on many patients. Isolation can breed fear and depression. With the nature of health care shifting during this time, video visits can be a life-saving tool.
“If we can reach out and do good for our patients proactively with this virtual tool, we can impact a whole population! Seeing a familiar face over the video, hearing a warm voice over the audio is priceless, not only for the patients but for the clinicians too!” explained Dr. Braid.
Dr. Braid has been conducting virtual visits for the last year and a half. Up until now, her experiences with virtual visits were mostly after hours, or on the weekend to improve access for patients outside of regular office hours.
Increased access and knowledge of the tool, paired with a secure, HIPAA-compliant platform, helped make virtual visits a preferred visit method for patients during this time.
“I’m happy to say that in social distancing we are still able to ‘touch’ our patients,” said Dr. Braid.
Dr. Braid has worked as a physician in Family Medicine for over 17 years. She has had a variety of invaluable patient interactions and experiences.