Apr 18, 2020 10:00 PM

Heart of Kansas expands telemedicine services to combat COVID-19

Posted Apr 18, 2020 10:00 PM
Jeanne Habash, physician assistant, uses the telemedicine system at Heart of Kansas Family Health Care for a patient’s appointment.
Jeanne Habash, physician assistant, uses the telemedicine system at Heart of Kansas Family Health Care for a patient’s appointment.

Heart of Kansas Family Health Care has expanded telemedicine services at its three locations to further reduce the risk of patient and staff exposure to COVID-19.

“Telemedicine is now available to our patients who need care and treatment from our medical and behavioral health providers,” said Brett Middleton, chief executive officer. “We have provided psychiatric services via telemedicine for about five years but in light of this crisis, we wanted to expand the service for the safety and well-being of patients, families and staff.

“We strongly encourage our patients to take advantage of telemedicine services,” Middleton continued. “It is an effective way for them to receive the valuable medical care they deserve without having to come into the office.”

Heart of Kansas staff members understand that some patients may be a bit apprehensive about using this technology.

“Yes, we know that some may want to shy away from telemedicine,” Middleton said. “However, they can be assured that staff members are available to give them step-by-step instructions; we will walk them through the process.”

There is no particular app to download on a computer or mobile device. Instead, Heart of Kansas obtains email addresses from patients and then sets them up in the telemedicine system.

“They will receive an email inviting them to create a log-in for their appointment,” Middleton explained. “If the patient chooses to participate in the platform we have established for telemedicine, they will be able to see their provider on the screen during their appointment.”

Telemedicine services are available to all patients, especially those who are considered most at risk for COVID-19.

Those who are at risk include older adults, long-term-care facility residents and people of any age with a serious underlying medical condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Underlying conditions include chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, a compromised immune system, severe obesity, diabetes and liver disease. In addition, people undergoing dialysis for chronic kidney disease also are in the at-risk category.

Middleton noted that Heart of Kansas “is committed to providing high-quality care to our patients during this public-health crisis. We will continue to ensure access to healthcare in all the communities we serve in central Kansas.

“Our staff members are great; they should be commended,” he added. “They are committed to providing whole-person healthcare to all every day. They are simply the best.”

In addition to Great Bend, Heart of Kansas clinics are located in Larned and Stafford.

For more information, call 620-792-5700.