Valley View Health Center’s patients face many basic obstacles to Healthcare, including transportation and minimal English proficiency, as a federally accredited health centre. Because of the potential for virus spread, the COVID-19 pandemic added a new barrier: questions about in-person clinic visits. The pandemic provided an opportunity to provide treatment over the internet. However, Valley View and most FQHCs were restricted in this area because most telehealth services could not be billed by FQHCs.
That was prior to the pandemic’s temporary rule changes. Heidi Zipperer, chief administrative officer at Valley View Health Center, said, “Learning how to navigate the process was intensive and it seemed like a new telehealth platform and communication tool was popping up every day as we tried to quickly provide services to patients without having standard equipment and software.”
The opportunity to provide appointments remotely is appreciated by Valley View patients and Healthcare teams, she said. Unfortunately, the medical staff was having trouble getting patient vitals. She explained that Vital Tech not only provides a platform for sharing vitals data collected each day through smart devices such as blood pressure cuffs, glucometers, pulse oximeters, and scales, but it also provides a platform for virtual visits that show the patient’s vitals for the provider to see during the visit.