RAPID CITY, S.D. (March 30, 2020) — While COVID-19, self-quarantines and social distancing have made it difficult for patients to visit their doctor, Monument Health has launched a system that brings the doctor to the patient, via telemedicine.
Using a telephone or video conferencing, patients can get medical care directly from their physicians and advanced practice providers – without leaving home. The system launched at primary care clinics in all Monument Health markets including Spearfish, Rapid City, Custer, Hot Springs, Hill City, Sturgis, Lead-Deadwood, Buffalo, Wall, Belle Fourche and Newcastle. Some of Monument Health’s specialty clinics will begin offering telemedicine services in coming days.
“With telemedicine we can keep our patients safely at home while remaining connected to their providers and ensuring the care they need is maintained,” said Stephanie Lahr, M.D., Chief Information Officer and Chief Medical Information Officer at Monument Health. “We can also protect our staff and providers.”
Providers go through telemedicine training before taking their first video visits. A Monument Health telemedicine visit is similar to an in-clinic appointment using videoconferencing. Patient and doctor talk about symptoms, treatments, prescriptions and other health questions the patient has. A record of the visit is kept in the Epic electronic health records system, and the patient can review the visit in MyChart, Epic’s patient portal.
Patients who want to make a telemedicine appointment should call their clinic.
The telemedicine initiative is part of a broader Monument Health program to serve its communities while protecting individuals from possible COVID-19 exposure. Other projects include the online COVID-19 assessment tool on the Monument Health website, the Nurse Triage line for patients who believe they might be infected and drive-thru testing sites that allow patients to be tested without leaving their vehicles.
About Monument Health
Headquartered in Rapid City, S.D., Monument Health (formerly Regional Health) is a community-based health care system with a mission to make a difference, every day. The system offers care in 33 medical specialties and serves 20 communities across western South Dakota and in eastern Wyoming. With over 4,500 physicians and caregivers, Monument Health is comprised of 5 hospitals, 8 specialty and surgical centers and more than 40 medical clinics and health care service centers. Monument Health is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network.
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