While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things, both in our city and across the country, CUCS’s nurse practitioners, registered nurses, psychiatrists, and medical providers have never wavered in their commitment to their patients.
As soon as it became clear that in-person appointments were potentially risky for patients and providers alike, we jumped to action and began a monumental shift to providing telehealth and telepsychiatry services for thousands of people for the first time. CUCS is utilizing Doxy.me, a secure, online telemedicine tool, to ensure that we could keep all of our appointments with patients at sites across the city on schedule. Patients can attend all of their appointments and connect with CUCS’s providers on a smartphone, tablet, or a computer with a webcam. Maintaining these critical connections to care means more of our clients, residents, and patients can stay on track with their health and wellness goals.
The introduction of telehealth services has been an incredible success! Since March, CUCS’s providers have completed more than 4,000 telehealth and telepsychiatry appointments with their patients. With the help of this technology, psychiatry access has actually increased by 15% compared to last year at the same time.
CUCS also recognizes that even the best telehealth service can’t help someone if they don’t have a device so we’ve partnered with Telehealth Access for Seniors to help more of our patients connect with their doctors. Telehealth Access for Seniors is a volunteer-led nonprofit that collects refurbished and new iPhones and tablets to donate to clinics and healthcare organizations that support low-income communities, mostly older people, so that they have a reliable way to participate in telehealth services and stay connected. In addition, each device comes with easy to understand guides that have been translated into four different languages and free tech support to ensure that every patient feels comfortable using the phone or tablet.
This week, we received an incredible donation of devices from Telehealth Access for Seniors! With their support, CUCS will be able to distribute refurbished phones and tablets to individuals with serious health needs and chronic conditions, ensuring they can continue seeing their doctors without risking their health. Thanks to all of the volunteers, even more of our residents, clients, and patients will have the access to the critical telehealth services that they need to stay safe and healthy.