Lynn Community Health Center this week will begin offering telephonic visits for patients with non-urgent medical appointments, including both medical and behavioral health appointments. Many patients will soon receive a phone call asking if they would prefer with a telephone encounter rather than and in-person visit.
Telehealth is a growing field that has the potential to significantly increase access to care. During the Coronavirus outbreak it means patients can continue to receive both medical and behavioral health care while minimizing their risk of exposure.
“During this crisis, it is vital that our patients experience as much continuity of care as possible,” said Dr. Carlos Cappas, Chief Behavioral Health Officer. “Social distancing—although necessary at this time—is isolating and is especially challenging for those with chronic health or behavioral health issues. We want our patients to know they can still count on us to care for them.”
Lynn Community Health Center remains open for urgent care and for medical and behavioral health visits that require in-person encounters. “All patients are screened before entering the health center, and those who screen in for being at higher risk for Coronavirus (because of exposure to someone with Coronavirus, travel, or symptoms) are separated from those who are at less risk” said Dr. Geoff Pechinsky, Chief Medical Officer. “We are prioritizing our ability to use telehealth technology for many types of visits, but if you need to be seen at the health center in person it is safe to come in for your appointment. As always, your health and safety are our priorities.”
Dr. Pechinsky also reminded the community that anyone with a cough or fever call the health center before coming in. Not everyone needs to be seen in person—those with mild symptoms can often be instructed on how to care for themselves at home with advice from a doctor or a nurse.