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Telehealth: the intersection of technology and healthcare

Telehealth: the intersection of technology and healthcare

At SCCA Proton Therapy Center, we are very concerned about ensuring our patients and staff are safe and stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. One way to do this, is to schedule certain appointments remotely via an online meeting. This telehealth option was always something the Center aspired to, but the pandemic has expedited our focus on this offering, and we are now able to provide remote visits with our physicians.

“It has been a terrific service for our patients,” says Dr. Jing Zeng, our Associate Medical Director and lung- and prostate-cancer expert. “It has been a great advantage to all of our patients to minimize travel during COVID and make our expertise available to patients who are far away. Of course, radiation treatments still require physical presence at the Center, but telehealth allows us to minimize as much travel as possible for the rest of patients’ appointments.”

Setting up a telehealth appointment is the same as scheduling an in-person appointment. Our scheduling coordinators contact our patients with time, date, and instructions, and at the appointed time, patients use an online portal to speak with their physician. The software we use is patient health information (PHI)-compliant, so we can alleviate privacy concerns.

Of course, we must still hold certain appointments in person. Any appointment that involves a physical examination, such as a laryngoscopy for many of our head and neck patients, can’t be done remotely. Some patients also find it harder to form a human connection via telehealth, and may prefer to have an in-person discussion instead. All of our physicians are credentialed in telehealth and are willing to participate in either option where appropriate.

“We hope that even after COVID, telehealth is here to stay,” says Dr. Zeng. “We are all still learning about all we can do with it - but there will always be a role for evaluating a patient in person, to determine the best course of treatment.”  

If you need to set up an appointment or consultation, please call us at 1-844-768-1239. And rest assured that, when the time comes to visit the Center in person, we are taking strict precautions to keep both patients and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.