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UVM Health Network Increases Availability of eHealth

Physicians Across the Network Offering Telemedicine Appointments to Meet Patient Needs

BURLINGTON (VT) – University of Vermont Health Network officials have mobilized a task force to increase the availability of eHealth appointments across the Network to ensure access to medical services during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ensuring access to medical care for our patients is a top priority for the University of Vermont Health Network. We are expanding telemedicine capabilities to meet our patients’ needs while ensuring their safety as well as the safety of our clinicians and staff,” said UVM Health Network Senior Vice President and Chief Population Health and Quality Officer Howard Schapiro, MD.

 As of March 23, primary care visits are available through online video conferencing at the University of Vermont Medical Center, Porter Medical Center, and Central Vermont Medical Center in Vermont, and Elizabethtown Community Hospital in New York. Similar access will be in place this week at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital and Alice Hyde Medical Center in New York.

Efforts are also being made across the network to offer psychiatry and psychology services as well as gastrointestinal medicine and cardiology.

“We are feverishly trying to get to every provider out there to provide them with the necessary tools to stand up this capability,” said UVM Health Network Director of eHealth Services Todd Young.

The preferred method for eHealth appointments is Zoom – an online remote conferencing service. The Network is working quickly to ensure that all clinical practices are equipped to use Zoom and provide video visits with patients. Patients who make Zoom appointments with their physician will be contacted by the Network to prepare them for the visit and offer technical assistance. Technical assistance for other video conferencing services is not currently available. If you have questions about an upcoming appointment, or would like to schedule one, please be in touch with your provider.

 “For some people this technology may be uncomfortable at first, but we are going to be there to guide them through it and make sure they have a successful appointment,” said UVM Heath Network Director of Patient Access & Service Scott O'Neil.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has relaxed some regulations during this COVID-19 pandemic to allow additional video conferencing services. Other services can also be used under certain circumstances.

“We’re focusing efforts on expanding our use of Zoom, which is already in place in many of our clinics. As some federal restrictions are relaxed on other video technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as FaceTime and Skype, our providers will also use these to accommodate patient visits in the meantime,” said  President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Vermont Medical Group Claude Deschamps, MD.

 

About the University of Vermont Health Network

The University of Vermont Health Network is a five-hospital system serving the residents of Vermont and northern New York with a shared mission: working together, we improve people’s lives.  The partners are:

 

Our 4,000 health care professionals are driven to provide high-quality, cost-efficient care as close to home as possible. Strengthened by our academic connection to the University of Vermont, each of our hospitals remains committed to its local community by providing compassionate, personal care shaped by the latest medical advances and delivered by highly skilled experts.


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  March 25, 2020