Northeast Louisiana doctor talks making the switch to telemedicine

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WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) Steward Medical Group has announced they'll be introducing telemedicine to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19.

Steward Medical Group has announced they'll be introducing telemedicine to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19. Source: (KNOE)

The Louisiana Department of Health is encouraging doctors around the state to use telemedicine to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus.

Dr. Steven McMahan, Vice President of Steward Medical Group in Louisiana, said the transition has been smooth so far.

"My appointment times are more on-schedule with this than they usually are because a lot of times there are certain medical emergencies that take a little bit longer in an office and we have to deal with that and it seems like it's been better since we've done this," he said.

Telemedicine provides the option for a patient to meet with their doctor through something like Facetime or Microsoft Teams.

McMahan said these meetings aren't a replacement for something like a physical checkup.

"There are certain things that probably have to be seen in the office and we're able to screen those patients to see 'Oh this can wait' or 'I probably should see that today or tomorrow if you can make it," he said.

However, it does allow them to meet with patients who may not necessarily need to come into the office.

"The vast majority of it is medicine refills for chronic patients like with diabetes, blood pressure, asthma. Things that don't need to be in the office now," he said.

McMahan said he hopes they continue using telemedicine moving forward.