None of us has ever encountered anything like what we are experiencing. This is just the beginning, and there will be more who are vulnerable and will get ill.
As a cardiologist, I'm worried, and I'm fearful for my own health, and the health of my family. I'm being as careful as I can -- mask when near patients in the hospital, change clothes and shoes before coming home, no jewelry, washing and sanitizing my hands even more than I already do.
As a business owner, I've had to contemplate how to change my practice model. In many ways, I wish I was still an employee -- I would not have to worry so much about finances in that I would have a salary, and wouldn't have to concern myself with the logistics of setting up telemedicine, or finding the correct codes to use to bill for that service.
I think telemedicine is key right now. I can't in good conscience ask the majority of my patients, most of who have multiple medical issues, to come to my office. I've been doing phone calls with patients who are due for follow up, and next week I'll be ready to do telemedicine, where I can see and hear my patients.
I thought initially that it would just be follow-up patients, and I would push the new patients to when the pandemic is over. Unfortunately, I don't think that's any time soon, so I will make do with telemedicine to provide the best service that I can in these times.
If you have an upcoming appointment, or you wish to schedule an appointment, call my office. My staff will be able to help you.