We are all trying to practice social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19. Staying home is also vital. This new situation has become an anxious time for many, especially when someone does not feel well or knows that a prescription needs to be refilled soon.

I am happy to share that UofL Health has taken some actions to help meet the needs of individuals needing medical care. We have expanded our telehealth program, UofL Health – Telehealth, to improve patient access to over 600 of our providers, while maintaining social distancing, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our mission is to provide patient-centered care with compassion and excellence. We want to ensure that everyone in all of our communities can address their health care needs conveniently and safely with peace of mind.

I have been providing care to my patients through telehealth for over a decade and am very pleased that my colleagues will also be providing this care to their patients. Recently relaxed Federal, State, and insurance related restrictions may now allow this much needed means of patient care to become mainstream.

What is a telehealth appointment?

A UofL Health – Telehealth appointment will allow you to see your provider over the phone, tablet or computer using a videoteleconferencing (VTC) application.  We are starting with one called BlueJeans. This application is a lot like Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Facebook Messaging; or LifeSize. Unlike some other platforms it is HIPAA compliant. The application is free and can be easily downloaded.

Our telehealth appointment is like an in-person appointment with a provider. During the visit you’ll talk about your current health concerns and learn what to do.

  • Your visit can take place from a location that is the most convenient for you.
  • Your provider will use a video-based application to talk with you by phone, tablet or computer.
  • Our telemedicine platform is secure and HIPAA compliant.
  • Your audio and video will not be recorded or stored without your expressed permission to do so.
  • Your privacy and rights will be respected and ensured to the degree technologically possible.  You should do your part however to make sure you are located in a private site while conducting the session.

How do I request a telehealth appointment?

You may request a telehealth appointment by:

  1. Calling your UofL Health – UofL Physicians provider’s office directly.
  2. Calling our primary care hotline at 502-588-4343.

What will happen when I call for a telehealth appointment?

While you are scheduling your appointment by phone, our scheduler will be able to provide you with instructions on how to download the application, verify your email address and confirm that you have an internet-enabled phone, tablet, or webcam equipped laptop or desktop computer. They will also email you a packet of information with a consent form that will need to be filled out, signed and sent back 48 hours prior to your visit. You will also receive an appointment calendar invitation with a link with information about your appointment. When it is time for your appointment to begin, you’ll click on this link to be connected with a provider.

How do I get ready for my telehealth appointment?

  • Prepare notes or have a list of topics you would like to discuss with your provider.
  • Make sure your device is plugged in or fully charged.
  • Find a quiet space for your appointment. Choose a location where you have privacy and are less likely to get interrupted.
  • Find space that is well lit. Position yourself so that the main light source is in front, lighting up your face.
  • Set your camera at eye level. This will make it easier for the provider to see and engage with you.
  • Use headphones if you need privacy or are hearing impaired.
  • Have your provider’s office phone number handy should you have technical issues or get disconnected during your visit.
  • Enjoy the convenience of being able to meet with your clinician for a non-emergency visit from the comfort of your home or other private site of your choosing.
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Robert Caudill, M.D.

Dr. Robert Caudill is a psychiatrist with UofL Physicians - Psychiatry and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Louisville. He is the residency training director with an interest in optimizing the role of technology in post-graduate medical education. He is also director of telemedicine and information technology programs. He has been a leader at both the state and national level for use of telemedicine as a means of improving access to care. Earlier this year he participated in a Congressional briefing sponsored by the APA advocating for the removal of barriers to adoption of telemedicine. He’s the author or co-author of numerous articles, book chapters, and professional guidelines.

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