Adapting in real time, a new way of serving our patients

Healthcare network DarSalud relies on tele-health during pandemic

By Dr. Pedro Velasquez 

In light of COVID 19 and the novel coronavirus, DarSalud has been forced into a new normal. All of us have. But its also pushed us to be more nimble and adaptive, as well as more thoughtful, patient and supportive to our team and those we serve. Even during this high anxiety time our clinic(s) are still seeing 400 patients a week. That’s everything from treating chronic issues like hypertension, diabetes and managing obesity to doing regular primary care check-ups. 

In this unprecedented time we’ve been thrown many curve balls. We chose not to become a screening center for COVID-19 because in our mind it would impose an extra-risk for our patients who are already more susceptible to COVID-19’s severe complications. Since our founding 15 years ago we have committed ourselves to being focused on identifying people who are at risk of the above-mentioned diseases and impacting them by intervening earlier. Prevention and intervention are at the core of what we do. 

I do not recommend you follow any word-of-mouth, unofficial internet sources or unsubstantiated data… This only serves to create confusion.

Enter our new Virtual Medicine Platform…

From the moment the shut down began, we have worked around-the-clock to guarantee our patients access to their multi-professional team in a way that is dynamic, reliable and HIPAA-compliant, as well as conscious of any time constraints, travel restrictions, language limitations, and insurance coverage. Launching our new virtual platform has been filled with fits and starts, but this is something we have been working on for nearly two years. Are we glad we invested in this new technology! It’s hard to imagine just a few months ago we were making preparations for our big 15 year anniversary. 

Through this new initiative we have been able to provide immediate guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but its also freed up my team to serve their patients in a real concrete way. My providers are now avoiding the barriers of the ongoing crisis and are able to closely monitor their patients. Care includes delivering condition-related education, making treatment adjustments, placing new prescriptions, discussing results, making referrals, and just delivering good old fashioned peace of mind.

We have also delivered care for countless acute and chronic conditions that continue to affect our long-established patients. It is our hope that this initiative improves patient engagement, builds on continued compliance and satisfaction and leads to outcomes we can celebrate down the line. I’m impressed with how many patients we are seeing via this new platform!

We believe this resource can significantly reduce the unnecessary use of ER and hospital services, largely ameliorate the risk of contagion and ultimately, inform a viable containment strategy for healthcare costs.

Presently, there is a great deal of misinformation and uncertainty, with patients and their loved ones following the recommendations of unreliable sources. If you have questions about your health or are concerned you may have the disease, I strongly urge you to get in touch with your primary care doctor immediately. More importantly, I do not recommend you follow any word-of-mouth, unofficial internet sources or unsubstantiated data. This only serves to create confusion, anxiety and unneeded stress. I get it, we are all on edge right now, and every little thing we feel seems amplified, but we mustn’t overwhelm the hospitals right now. 

While the circumstances we face in this pandemic are grave and undisputable, it is important that we understand the implications this necessary social isolation will likely have on the health of our patient population beyond the scope of COVID-19. 

DarSalud’s mission is to improve the standard of care for patients by providing integrated, outcome oriented, and culturally-competent treatment interventions. 

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