Telemedicine Will Stay Post COVID, Doctors Say

Telemedicine has been around for a while, but it’s safe to say it became more popular this year, during the pandemic — and it’s probably going to stay that way.

A panel of Dallas doctors recently took part in a panel discussion hosted by the Dallas County Medical Society Alliance Foundation, to discuss the ways healthcare workers stepped up during the worst of the pandemic, and the challenges the medical community faced with both treating a mass influx of sick patients and combatting the spread of the virus.

The discussion was moderated by Dr. Mark Casanova, immediate past president of the Dallas County Medical Society (DCMS), and participants included Jon Roth, CEO/EVP of the Dallas County Medical Society; Dr. Roberto de la Cruz, Chief Medical Officer, Parkland Health and Hospital System; Dr. Amy Wilson, Chief Medical Officer, Baylor University Medical Center; John Phillips, president, Methodist Dallas Medical Center; and James Parobek, president, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

All touched on how the medical community banded together to form, as they called it, a family of medicine. The panelists discussed the challenges around getting adequate PPE. That was addressed in part when DCMS worked with the Texas Medical Association to procure $14 million in PPE for private physician practices of all sizes so they could continue to treat patients.

The spirit of cooperation among the medical community, they said, created better response, and highlighted the need for humility.

These cooperative approaches to the medical issues in Dallas enabled the area to have superior results to those of New York and changed the attitude toward “team” among the Dallas medical community and strengthened public health rapid response teams. The event highlighted the need for humility in the face of limited science and the reality of vulnerability in this situation made for a better response systematically and personally.

The pandemic also cemented telemedicine as a treatment option as more doctors began treating patients.

As a result of COVID, telemedicine is here to stay and will enable the medical community to treat patients wherever they are.

You can see the entire panel below.

In other news:

  • Dallas County health officials reported 181 new cases and nine deaths on Friday, and 303 new cases and eight deaths on Saturday.
  • More than 1.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be shipped to providers across Texas next week. The Texas Department of State Health Services is allocating 708,460 first doses to 928 providers in 129 counties. DSHS is ordering 570,520 second doses for people vaccinated a few weeks ago. You can see where those doses went locally here.
  • The Texas Department of State Health Services said Saturday that it notified vaccine providers in the state that they should resume using the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after a safety review and a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee’s determination that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh its risks.
  • The City of Dallas Youth Commission has launched a community service grant initiative called Teens for Dallas Grant Initiative. The grant provides financial assistance to youth organizations in the community to support their programming in exchange for completing a community service project planned by the Dallas Youth Commission. To apply, click here.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at bethany.erickson@peoplenewspapers.com.

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