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As people continue to look for ways to honor the guidelines of social distancing, virtual and tele-connections are now more important than ever, and it's with this knowledge that Alleo Health is rolling out tele-health visits for their patients to be sure everyone can still get the care that's so key during this time.

Thanks to the Synzi platform and app, Hospice of Chattanooga, Palliative Care Services and Comprehensive Care, all under the Alleo Health System umbrella, can offer their patients and families direct access to their provider without having to leave home.

"We wanted to eliminate any concern people have about leaving the house and make sure that they still have options to accommodate them," explained Dr. Greg Phelps, Chief Medical Officer, Alleo Health System.

He went on to share that families can utilize pretty much any device as long as it has camera and microphone access: iPad, iPhone, Android, laptop or computer with a web cam; they're all good to go.

"This way you can still speak and see your doctor or nurse practitioner face to face just like you would at an appointment," Phelps said, noting the simplicity of the experience and technology. "If you can FaceTime, you can use this app without any trouble."

Providers will have one app, while patients and caregivers will have another through Synzi, but Dr. Phelps stressed that everything is kept private and confidential, and all data that's shared is encrypted making it safe and HIPAA compliant.

"It's very straightforward, and you don't have to worry about your private information being misused or compromised," he explained.

For those new to any type of virtual visit like these, Dr. Phelps said it works much the same as an office visit where patients can share their concerns or questions and get answers directly from their doctor or nurse practitioner.

"You'll see them and talk to them over your device, and you can discuss your medications, symptoms, and treatment," he said. "For those who have certain types of continued care, RNs and CNAs will still be in the home setting to continue to deliver quality care as needed by the patient."

Dr. Phelps also shared that providers can do prescriptions via email following a visit as well as help get medications refilled, all while utilizing their technology for the continued comfort and care for their patients.

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"Everything will be done through scheduled appointments on the app by your provider," Phelps added, noting that they have that safeguard to help providers not be overwhelmed. "There are also ways to send messages, similar to texting, and email alerts that providers can send out to remind patients of appointment times as well as surveys to help patients log information that will help at any future appointments."

He added that surveys could include types of symptoms with yes or no options for patients to select and/or options for patients to give descriptions about how their visit went and whether they still need any additional help or assistance.

When it comes to getting started on the app, providers will send invites to their patients to get things set in motion, and the app on the providers' side will also house all their patients to make contact simpler.

"If patients lose or accidentally delete the app, your provider can resend an invite at any time," Phelps assured.

"Telehealth is also being made available to hospice patients in skilled nursing facilities using the Synzi platform, and Dr. Phelps hopes to continue to provide the service long-term across the board."

 

"We're planning to use this in the long run for patient care plans and not just in the midst of pandemic," he shared. "For those in rural areas where it may take 45 minutes or more just to drive to an office for something that's already hard an exhausting, this is a great tool to help make it easier for things that can just be handled over a call."

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