Dr. Matthew Faiman, Cleveland Clinic Express Care online medical director, estimates a “20-fold increase” in the telehealth service’s “virtual visit traffic” since COVID-19 entered Ohio.

The digital health service launched in 2014 and is available 24 hours a day for patients throughout the United States to receive a quick diagnosis for a variety of minor injuries or illnesses through a virtual visit.

Telemedicine is “a safe and effective and efficient way for patients to connect for any COVID, and to be honest, any non-COVID-related conditions,” Faiman told the Cleveland Jewish News on March 18.

At Cleveland Clinic, Faiman has been training doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners to use the telemedicine software, and said all hands are on deck to manage the influx of COVID-19-related patients.

Once a patient signs up for a free virtual visit on the Cleveland Clinic website, Faiman said they are directed to a COVID-19 questionnaire to help medical professionals determine the severity of their illness.

The questionnaire also evaluates whether a patient needs to be tested or only given self-quarantine information.

“Which allows for managing a larger volume of patients,” Faiman said, noting the average visit takes roughly 10 minutes.

Most patients will not need to visit the hospital, but in the case that they do, a medical professional will help them coordinate the safest way to come in.

Faiman said Cleveland Clinic is looking into home medical devices for low to medium risk COVID-19 patients.

“Devices that will monitor their temperature and maybe their oxygen level, and it will connect back to a health care system like ours remotely,” Faiman said. “Because they have those devices already in place.”

To start the process with Cleveland Clinic Express Care Online, visit cle.clinic/33ASMck.

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