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During COVID-19, NorthShore’s Orthopaedic & Spine Institute continues to provide dedicated care while prioritizing the safety of our patients and staff. We now offer telehealth (via phone or video) with our experts to provide visits from the comfort of your home. Our Orthopaedic Immediate Care centers remain open for your urgent orthopaedic injuries, no appointment needed.
We asked Mark Bowen, MD, orthopaedic surgeon, to fill us in about telehealth visits. Learn how it works, who’s a candidate and how he sees telehealth incorporated for future orthopaedic and spine care.
How do ortho and spine telehealth visits work at NorthShore?To provide the best possible care for our patients, we are available to connect with you by phone or video for new conditions or follow-up care. During that appointment, we can assess the patient’s symptoms and determine options for moving forward. These appointments can be made by contacting us through our regular telephone number or requesting an appointment online. If this is your preference please ask the patient representative for a telehealth visit.
What sort of patients are good candidates for telehealth visits? How do you evaluate this?Every patient is a good candidate for a telehealth visit. Once we connect we can make an assessment about next steps which might include an in-person visit. However, if you have an emergency or very urgent condition, please go to a local Emergency Department or seek evaluation at one of our Orthopaedic Immediate Care centers.
How do you see telehealth being incorporated into medicine moving forward after the COVID era?The limitations created by this pandemic have created a learning opportunity for all of us. Our desire to continue to care for the orthopaedic and spine needs of our patients has led us to appreciate the value of these visits. These important interactions are here to stay.
Some conditions will still require an in-person visit. What steps are being taken to protect patients and staff?We are strictly complying with all national and local recommendations regarding patient and staff protection, including requiring our patients to be screened upon entry and wearing masks while in the building, social distancing in common spaces and the use of mask, eyewear, gloves and frequent hand washing. We have also significantly reduced the number of in-office evaluations to comply with social distancing while patients are in the office
How have patients responded to ortho telehealth appointments? Physicians? We have observed a very satisfying response by our patients to be able to communicate with us using telehealth. They appreciate not having to come into a healthcare environment and also the time they save. Our physicians are all grateful for the opportunity to maintain contact with their patients using these tools.
What else should patients considering ortho and spine telehealth appointments know?If you have a new or ongoing musculoskeletal condition, do not let the present environment keep you from seeking out an evaluation. Our team is here for you!