We all make active choices to maintain social distancing, prioritizing our health and the health of our communities. But one thing we cannot choose to socially distance ourselves from is a chronic health condition.
Staying home is a great choice to reduce risk of COVID-19 exposure, especially for those considered high-risk. What we can’t do is stay away from our ongoing medical needs, like diabetes.
New technology to manage diabetes is constantly coming to light as patients can now see glucose monitor data in real-time, push that information to their cell phones and use blood sugar monitors with Bluetooth capabilities. Options like virtual visits have long been possible but, with the necessity for social distancing during the current pandemic, they have only become more readily available.
Tryon Medical Partners has expanded the times available for virtual visits and medical specialties, like endocrinology, that can be serviced. As a diabetes educator, I see this as a game-changer for our diabetic patients who require frequent condition management. Appointments can be scheduled with your regular providers as our endocrinologists and diabetes educators are available for virtual visits.
I often speak with patients over the phone but the video component of a virtual visit only enhances the personal connections we work to build. While patients stay home during COVID-19, we act as problem solvers in diabetes management via virtual visits, creating small, achievable goals that can have big impacts. For example, gyms may be closed but we can think of alternatives for patients based on their lifestyles, like getting out in their neighborhood for walks or working on a fitness routine that can be done right in their living room.
We utilize many handouts and resources during management visits and video visits are no different, as we can share everything virtually. Our patients are also pleasantly surprised to find that major insurance companies cover virtual visits just as they would in-office.
While virtual visits are wonderful options for diabetes management, patients should also be aware that in-person visits are still available. Maintaining safety in our offices was top priority before COVID-19 and has only continued to be enhanced, including the adoption of remote clinics that keep sick patients away from regular offices.
Whether you choose to manage your diabetes in person or virtually, the important thing is that you continue your regular appointments and medications. Staying well is more important now than ever and keeping chronic conditions under control is the first step to your overall well-being.