Penn Highlands Healthcare used telemedicine before the COVID-19 outbreak, but has it expanded it since the spread of the virus.
Craig Hanlin from Clarion, has stage three metastatic melanoma cancer, meaning the cancer spread from his skin to his lymphnodes, organs and blood. His treatment for the cancers makes him immunocompromised.
He says COVID-19 could harm him much worse than a healthy person.
“It could shut down other organs and ruin my lungs for the rest of my life or anything else if I do get it,” Hanlin, said.
Since the spread of the coronavirus, Craig’s continued to see his physician Adam Wisor, through telemedicine, “the MyHealth app”.
“We can interact seeing their faces, as well as they can see ours, where we can ask questions, they can ask questions, we can review their blood results, their symptomatology, their blood results, anything that is of a concern for them,” Adam Wisor, Nurse Practitioner at the Hahne Cancer Center at Penn Highlands, said.
If Craig needs a treatment, Wisor sends him the prescription through the app.
“Any medication and stuff like that I can click on, and they can fill the prescription and call it right into my pharmacist and then I just check on the app and it will let me know that they called it in and when it will be ready and when I can pick it up,” Hanlin, said.
Patients that need to come to the hospital can call when they park in the parking lot.
A staff worker then calls the patient waiting in the parking lot once the doctor is ready for them.
This way COVID-19 exposure to other patients is minimized.
During the pandemic over 200 providers in the Penn Highlands Healthcare system have used telemedicine on 667 patients.
Telemedicine is available through any of Penn Highlands Healthcare’s hospitals, in DuBois, St. Mary’s, Brookville and Huntingdon.