Vinings Medical Center Telemedicine

(yep, we've got it!)

We've implemented telemedicine powered by Zoom Healthcare at the practice and our patients are super happy with how well it works - it's been very reassuring for them to see familiar faces!  If you'd like to setup up a telemedicine visit contact the office by phone or by creating a new appointment request through your portal.  We will be in contact with you during business hours either by phone or through your portal (if that's where the request originated) to get your appointment scheduled.

Preparing for your online appointment

Please complete the following steps prior to your appointment:

  • Download and install the Zoom Meeting app to your smartphone or computer (with a webcam)

     https://zoom.us/support/download

       (you do not need to setup or have an account with Zoom in order to use the application)

  • You'll need to obtain and record your vital signs for us - here's how to do that:

    • Get something to write them down on

    • Weight (if you have a scale)

    • Temperature

      • Take and record your temperature.  This needs to be accurate - please go online, lookup and read your thermometer manufacturer's instructions for use

    • Pulse

      • Here's a YouTube video on how to get it: 

    • Blood pressure (if you have a blood pressure monitor)

      • Take and record your blood pressure.  This needs to be accurate - please go online and read your monitor manufacturer's instructions for use

      • Note:  If you don't have a blood pressure monitor it would be good to get one for future use.  They're relatively inexpensive.  Order one online or purchase from a grocery or pharmacy

    • Respiratory rate

      • Set a one minute timer

      • Sit upright

      • Start the timer

      • Breathe normally

      • Count the number of times your chest rises and falls in 60 seconds (one rise and fall is counted as one breath)

When it's time for your appointment

  • Open the Zoom app

  • Enter the Zoom meeting ID (we will provide this to you) in the "Meeting ID" box

  • Upon clicking "Join" you will be prompted to enter the meeting password (we will provide this to you) go ahead and enter that once prompted by Zoom

What to expect during your appointment

The flow of your visit from this point is very similar to a visit in the office:

  • You will hang out in the "Virtual Exam Room" for a bit.  While we always try to run on time it's impossible to know (especially with all that's going on right now) how long the appointment before you will take - be assured we will be with you just as soon as we can

  • One of our nurses will join the meeting.  From there it's just like in the office - they'll:

    • Obtain your telemedicine visit copay (we pull this from your insurer's benefits website) - please have your credit card information ready

    • Confirm the reason for the visit

    • Obtain additional details you would like to provide

    • Obtain your current medication list, allergies, etc.

    • Obtain the vital signs you obtained for us prior to your appointment

    • Ask a few additional questions

  • Once the nurse has completed their work they will have you hang out in the virtual exam room while the physician wraps up with the patient before you.  Please wait patiently as, again, some of our visits are quite complex but know we will be with you as soon as possible

  • The physician will join the meeting and meet with you

Limitations of telemedicine

We have deployed this technology so that we may be here for you during the National State of Emergency; however, it is important to note:

  • We are balancing being here for you both in the office as well as via telemedicine in order to protect you, your fellow patients, our nursing staff and our physicians;

  • We are not allowing anyone with signs or symptoms suggestive of a possible COVID-19 infection, travel histories on the CDC Level-3 list or those who were or may have been exposed to COVID-19 to physically visit the office;

  • There are certain patient populations and combinations of symptoms for which the CDC is recommending telemedicine over in-person / in-office treatment as a public health precaution;

  • Many in our community (sick or not) need care but cannot physically leave their homes to see us;

  • Many simply don't want to physically visit a doctor's office during this time.

That being said, there are limitations to telemedicine you need to bear in mind:

  • There is no way we can perform certain aspects of a physical exam, e.g., listening to your lungs, bowel sounds, heart, looking in your ears, throat, other body areas, etc.;

  • There is no way for us to perform in-office diagnostic testing, e.g., lung function tests, EKGs, etc.

  • There is no way for us to perform in-office lab tests, e.g., strep tests, influenza tests, mono tests, urine tests, etc.

  • There is no way for us to draw your blood and Piedmont Healthcare (our hospital network) is recommending patients who are not in need of emergent care refrain from visiting hospitals and large healthcare facilities until further notice.  This is problematic when it comes to lab draws given draw stations are typically co-located with hospitals and high-volume care centers.

We therefore are relying on you to provide as detailed of a history and explanation of your symptoms as possible during the telemedicine visit.  There are circumstances in which, upon consulting with you via video, we may have you visit an urgent care or emergency room should the aforementioned exam and diagnostic data be required to establish a diagnosis.

It is also extremely important to bear in mind if your symptoms worsen (i.e., if you transition from mild / moderate symptoms to severe symptoms) or if new symptoms which are severe (or on their way to becoming severe) in nature come about you, a family member, caregiver, friend, etc. should call the emergency room closest to you to convey your symptoms, provide your exposure and travel history and let them know you are in route.  In any emergency always call 911 and have someone able to convey this same information to the 911 dispatcher and EMS personnel upon their arrival.

Vinings Medical Center, P.C.   2255 Cumberland Parkway SE   Building 1400   Atlanta, GA 30339   TEL: 770.955.9477