Back to the office after virtual care experience
Aside from my Botox clinics, I have largely been seeing patients virtually these last few months. I did my first Hinton Neurology Clinic in person this last week, last having been to Hinton in person in February. Seeing patients in person is certainly more rewarding than being on the phone for 8-9 hours a day at times with barely a break. Sitting all day mere steps from the refrigerator is also not great for losing weight! Having stated that, the virtual clinics went better than anticipated. For some patients, I was able to get more information than usual because I could interview family members. On occasion I was able to connect by Zoom to the family family doctor in one location and the patient on another for a helpful conference. I also came to the realization that it is foolish for a patient to drive several 100 km on occasion for a relatively short appointment. Virtual visits also allowed me to be more flexible in scheduling patients or even occasionally rescheduling them if they needed more time. Thus, I am pleased that we will be able to continue to offer virtual appointments, at least in some situations. During this time of the pandemic I would like to particularly emphasize that we are happy to offer virtual appointments to those fearful of going out instead of in office visits.
As I resume in office visits next week, I want to assure all my patients we will do our utmost to keep everyone safe. Our office policy requires that everyone wear a mask. Regrettably we will have to limit family and friends from accompanying patients to the visit. Having stated this I do realize that having a family member accompany the patient may be critical to provide additional information or to be present when important decisions need to be made. I will personally ensure that the room is cleaned thoroughly between each visit. For those seeing me on weekends or after hours for Botox, patients are allowed to park in the staff parking lot behind the building. Regrettably, we are not able to offer parking in the back during regular office hours. As many of you know, I have this tendency to run behind at times. It was much easier to run on time doing virtual clinics. I will do my best to run on time, but over the years the practice of medicine has become more and more complex. Sadly it seems that for some patients such as my MS patients, filling out the paperwork can occupy way too much time during the visit. If at all possible, I would as such ask that you complete the patient questionnaires prior to the visit bringing them to the office with you or emailing them to me beforehand. The questionnaires are attached to the website. It is NOT necessary to do the actual questionnaire. Answering the questions on a piece of paper or emailing the answers to me will also work. For those who have no easy access to a computer we will continue to have copies of the questionnaire available in the office. Even just bringing a list of medications to the appointment with a list of questions and concerns would be helpful and appreciated.
We understand how stressful this time has been for many so please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions.