December 22, 2020
—Worried About the Risks of Covid or Not Local?—
Virtual Telehealth Consultations Provide Comprehensive Evaluations
For Patient Considering Hip or Knee Surgery
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic upended everyone’s lives, telehealth was gaining momentum. It has since proved to be an invaluable resource and a welcome trend for the health care community. According to The American Journal of Managed Care monthly telehealth regional tracker, telehealth claims increased 2,980% nationally from September 2019 to September 2020.
Dr. William Leone, head of The Leone Center for Orthopedic Care, and his support staff have embraced telehealth technology which allows for virtual consultations with patients from around the globe. Until a vaccine is readily available and the pandemic subdued, many patients, even those who live in South Florida, prefer to schedule a virtual consultation. This viable option allows patients to avoid potential exposure to the coronavirus and conveniently schedule a personalized evaluation at a time of their choosing.
Dr. Leone and his team prepare for every virtual consultation just as thoroughly as they would for an in-person evaluation. Medical histories including past studies such as X-rays, MRIs and bloodwork along with details on any previous surgeries, are obtained and thoroughly reviewed by Dr. Leone in advance of the scheduled appointment.
With a full medical history in hand, Dr. Leone is able to spend more time during the consultation focusing on understanding that particular individual’s specific concerns, goals and issues. “It gives me an opportunity to better know each patient on a personal level, I ask questions about their lifestyle, their frustrations and their pain.
I try to better understand their specific short term and long term goals and what support system they have or do not have” says Dr. Leone. “If I’m meeting with someone who has already had a knee or hip replacement and not doing well, it’s my opportunity to better understand the past history of that joint, any specific symptoms it may be creating and then outline steps that need to be taken to more fully define the problem and create a plan to then fix it.”
These virtual consultations are simple to arrange, begin promptly, are easy to navigate technologically and typically last for 45-minutes. “My staff helps all of our patients set up for the appointment, and will spend whatever time needed to help those patients who are less “tech savvy” make it all work,” says Dr. William Leone.
“Telehealth effectively removes barriers to health care delivery, such as distance, mobility and illness,” said Dr. Leone. “In addition to meeting with prospective patients, I can more easily visit with current patients whom I’ve recently operated on and monitor their progress and address any concerns.”
With virtual telehealth consultations becoming so much more common, it’s not unusual for Dr. Leone to meet his patient “in person” the day of their surgery or the day prior to surgery for the first time. Click Here for a Testimonial from a Happy Telehealth Patient.