COVID-19 forces changes to your doctor visits

Published: Mar. 16, 2020 at 6:42 PM PDT
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At the Nevada Center or Dermatology, new policies are in place for patients.

The clients check in and give the desk staff their cell phone number. Then, instead of sitting in the waiting room, they wait in their cars until called by the staff.

Patients are seen in exam rooms where they will be interviewed six feet from the physician’s assistant or medical technician.

“Granted right now, there aren't that many cases here in Washoe County,” says Dr. Cindy Lamerson, a dermatologist with the practice. “We know the way viruses proliferate very quickly, we are just taking measures,” she says.

Dr. Lamerson is also using telemedicine to do follow-up consultations. She says these programs free up the office for more serious conditions like skin cancer.

“And they can talk to me,” says Dr. Lamerson. She adds, “We can go through their problem list. We can change their medications around. We can put them on new medications and we can do this at the convenience of their own home. They do not have to leave their home."

She says the conversation is easy to have with her patients.

"This is easy access and it is kind of triaging people,” she says. “So they still get appropriate health care, they can still see me. They are just seeing me via the computer or my iPhone. So it works both ways on my iPhone or on my computer," says Dr. Lamerson.

Other moves taken by the office include asking questions of the patient at the front desk about how they are feeling. If they say, or it appears there may be a health issue not related to their visit, the patient is asked to reschedule.

Exam rooms are wiped down after every patient with cleaners which disinfect surfaces.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020