COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- PeakMed primary care doctors are asking their patients to utilize their virtual platform, TeleHealth, in order to avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room.
"The ERs and hospitals are very dirty places when it comes to bacteria, bugs, and viruses," says Dr. Mark Tomasulo, a primary care doctor with PeakMed. "It's our job to protect you from going there when you don't have to."
Sometimes, protecting patients means seeing them through a screen.
"It allows me to see you, and get a really good understanding of what you look like, how you're breathing, if you're struggling, and see if I'm starting to have concerns from what I'm visualizing," Dr. Tomasulo said.
Dr. Tomasulo says even people showing symptoms of COVID-19, like shortness of breath, fever, or a dry cough, are still good candidates for a virtual check-up, as it's only the first step in the entire appointment process.
"If your doctor thinks they are concerned about something, we want to bring you in the facility to see it for ourselves, make sure that we are not missing something, and more importantly, get a game plan if these things get worse", says Dr. Tomasulo.
Dr. Tomasulo says virtual appointments still aren't the golden standard of care, but can limit ER waiting rooms to only people who need to be admitted.
PeakMed's TeleHealth program is available to its members 24/7.
Doctors can even prescribe medicine to their patients on the virtual platform.
Members of PeakMed pay a monthly fee for the service.