Adventist Health Sonora | Health Living | Summer 2020

4  Healthy Living • DOCTORS ARE MAKING HOUSE CALLS AGAIN, but this time the visits are virtual. You can see and talk with your doctor in your home over your smartphone, computer or tablet. It’s a convenient way to visit with your doctor, especially when you’re trying to limit contact with other people due to the coronavirus. And Adventist Health Sonora is encouraging patients to give it a try. What is a virtual visit? A virtual visit lets a provider see and talk with you over a video chat, says Toni Emerald, Director of Operations at Adventist Health Sonora. “If the patient has a rash or injury, the doctor can look at it,” Emerald says. “For chronic issues, like diabetes or heart disease, the doctor can see the patient and get a good idea of how they’re doing.” What are the benefits of virtual visits? Before the coronavirus, virtual visits weren’t always covered by insurance. But they are now. “The biggest benefit might be that you don’t have contact with other people,” Emerald says. “More than 65% of our population in Tuolumne County is 65 or older, so virtual visits allow them to avoid risk of exposure.” A virtual visit also can function as a social visit, she says. “It has been isolating for people to be quarantined at home. Virtual visits give us the ability to check in on our patients and see how they’re doing. Do they need other services at home? Do they need Meals on Wheels? What else might they need other than a health checkup?” What kinds of visits can be performed virtually? “Just about anything that doesn’t require a physical exam,” Emerald says. “The doctor can look at rashes or wounds. A dermatologist can look at a growth or a mole. For chronic conditions, the doctor can make sure you’re not having any side effects from medications.” In many ways, it’s very similar to an in-person checkup. The doctor will see