Righttime Medical Care Sees Large Increase in Telehealth Visits During Coronavirus Pandemic

June 19, 2020

 
While Maryland-based Righttime Medical Care's urgent Care Centers remain open to evaluate and care for patients throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the company has also seen its RighttimeNOW™ telehealth service grow exponentially over the past six weeks.

Righttime has had an increase of at least 2,000 percent in its telehealth service since early March, many of these with concerns about symptoms related to COVID-19. The company is also addressing patient needs by shifting many of its non-COVID-19 visits to telehealth, along with virtual waiting rooms.

Stanford Coleman, M.D., founder of RighttimeNOW and one of the leading national providers of teleservices, is pleased with its recent growth. "During normal times, telehealth has filled the need for so many people: college students, young parents, working people, and homebound seniors," says Coleman. "But now more than ever, RighttimeNOW is the alternative to avoiding the emergency room and even an in-person visit to an urgent care for less serious illnesses. During the current global health crisis, we are encouraging every patient whose symptoms meet the criteria for early COVID-19 infection to consider a virtual visit."

Righttime launched its telehealth service more than two years ago and was among the country's pioneers in this type of urgent care medicine. Coleman estimates that as many as two-thirds of the illnesses seen in urgent care can now be evaluated through telehealth. Recently, the most common symptoms evaluated through RighttimeNOW have been for upper respiratory issues, sore throats, skin rashes, coughs, and allergies. The highly-trained concussion specialists at Righttime's renowned program, HeadFirst® Concussion Care, have also converted many of their head injury patients to televisits for follow-up evaluations and care during the pandemic.

RighttimeNOW's interface is unique compared to most telehealth services in that it doesn't require a separate application downloaded to a computer or iPhone, instead using FaceTime®, Skype®, and Google® Hangouts. This has been accomplished through Righttime's partnership with SimpleVisit®, which provides highly-secure, HIPAA-compliant patient privacy.

Coleman says, "For COVID-19 concerns, we can discuss a patient's history, prior medical problems, and current symptoms over video to determine whether they can simply self-isolate in milder cases of illness, or whether they should be seen in-person at one of our Care Centers to be tested for COVID-19 or complications of another pre-existing illness. Even if we tell people to stay at home, we give them plenty of advice as to how to take care of themselves and their families, as well as an appropriate plan to end self-isolation. In many cases, a repeat call ensures that the patient is well and improving. Our feedback has been overwhelmingly positive because the patients are reassured that we're only a video visit away if they need us again."

Righttime's providers view telehealth as an important tool in the continuum of health care, which, during the current fears over contagious exposure, can fulfill the needs of most patients. Looking to the future, telehealth will continue as a solution to the many health care needs of Righttime's patients. "Although we have this remarkable technology, the doctor-patient relationship is of the utmost importance in any medical interaction, which includes compassion, communication and respect, combined with good clinical knowledge," says Coleman.

RIGHTTIME MEDICAL CARE simplifies access to trustworthy medical care for patients of all ages at its 20 urgent care locations in Maryland. Celebrating its 30th year, Righttime holds the Certified Urgent Care designation, which distinguishes it as among the top urgent care centers nationwide. Righttime is open 365 days a year and welcomes walk-in patients, while also offering same-day appointments online or via its Call Center as well as its RighttimeNOW™ telehealth service. Convenient services include x-rays, laboratory testing, a patient portal, and electronic health records which are shared with patients' physicians, specialists and collaborating medical institutions. For more information, visit myrighttime.com.

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