Over the past couple of years, you may have heard the terms “telehealth” and/or “telemedicine” used more commonly, regarding health care and in everyday life. Telehealth is the use of digital technology, such as computers and smartphones, to create virtual visits between patients and providers from the comfort of the patient’s home.
There are a number of advantages telehealth offers, such as no transportation time or costs, less interruption of your work or personal schedule, eliminating child or elder care issues, no time spent in a waiting room and convenient access to specialists. Additionally, telehealth allows providers to do a more in-depth evaluation than just over the phone.
Since the onset of COVID-19, we have seen the world change in many ways and the same is true in health care. Blanchard Valley Health System continues to progress and adapt to re-imagine health care and a primary example of this is offering telemedicine. BVHS has integrated telehealth visits into a number of our services and specialty practices. These virtual visits can address immediate needs or concerns, routine follow-up visits, lab work results and referrals to a specialist.
Whether you are a new or established patient, you can initiate the process of utilizing this service by calling your primary care, specialty care provider or Physicians Plus Urgent Care at 419.423.3888. An appointment will be scheduled at a convenient time for you. Available hours for telehealth services at BVHS include Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., for primary care; Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., for specialty care; Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., for urgent care (Physicians Plus, located at 3949 North Main Street Findlay).
Once a telehealth appointment is scheduled, you will receive an email and secure link for your visit. Requirements include an active email and a smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC device with webcam accessibility. To see if your device matches the requirements visit bit.ly/2y43XhL. To install the video call platform utilized for telehealth services, visit https://zoom.us/download for the proper software.
It is important to note that telehealth is not meant for medical emergencies. Urgent care is best suited for minor health issues when primary care is unavailable, such as mild allergic reactions, sprains and cold or flu symptoms. The emergency room is recommended if there is a very serious or life-threatening issue, such as chest pain or stroke symptoms. When in doubt, always call 911 or, if you are able, visit one of our emergency departments located at Blanchard Valley Hospital (1900 South Main Street in Findlay) or Bluffton Hospital (139 Garau Street in Bluffton).
The utilization of telehealth technology, which was largely leaned upon during the height of COVID-19, serves as great resource during both a pandemic and post-pandemic environment. It is here to stay due to its many benefits, noted earlier. BVHS is an organization that focuses on innovation and technology to provide and deliver the best care possible, in a convenient manner, to our community.
With the continuing use of telehealth services, we’re here for you in more ways than ever before!
President & CEO
Blanchard Valley Health System