Many of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Weight Management Center patients enrolled in weight loss programs are now able to attend a majority of their visits virtually, from the comfort of their own homes or almost anywhere else they might be.
Combining video visits, remote patient monitoring and virtual classes with a handful of in-person visits allow patients to save time and money while still remaining connected to the multidisciplinary team of physicians, registered dietitians, and exercise and behavioral specialists that provide support along every step of the weight loss journey.
“As long as someone is connected to the internet through their mobile device or computer, they can participate from virtually anywhere,” said Jamy Ard, M.D., co-director of Wake Forest Baptist’s Weight Management Center. “We understand how busy everyone is, so these virtual programs are really convenient for people who might not always have the time to drive to one of our clinics in Greensboro or Winston-Salem.”
These comprehensive virtual weight loss programs are part of Wake Forest Baptist’s efforts to increase convenience and access for patients, while improving and expanding care through a variety of telehealth-based virtual services, including:
- E-visits – Patients enrolled in MyWakeHealth, Wake Forest Baptist’s free and secure online patient portal, are able to have an e-visit with their provider for $10 to address a number of common ailments.
- Stroke – Since being established in 2009, Wake Forest Baptist’s Telestroke Network, which provides around-the-clock stroke evaluations to a network of 20 community hospitals across the state, has enabled nearly 5,000 patients to be evaluated and more than 1,000 acute stroke patients to receive treatment. When someone comes into one of the community hospitals with stroke symptoms, a mobile robot is moved to the bedside, allowing a Wake Forest Baptist stroke neurologist to communicate directly with the patient and emergency department doctor, ensuring the patient receives timely intervention.
- Psychiatry – Using laptops and webcams that are brought to the bedside of patients at community hospitals, behavioral health clinicians at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are able to remotely evaluate patients, allowing many people to receive needed treatment and saving time and travel for the them and their families.
- Brenner FIT (Families in Training) – By partnering with local providers, health departments and community centers, families enrolled in Brenner FIT are able to attend many of their follow-up appointments with the multidisciplinary health care team by video, in their own communities, reducing time lost from school and work.
- Diabetes – Doctors collaborate with local pharmacists in rural areas to remotely monitor the glucose levels of people with diabetes. This allows insulin treatment programs to be tailored to the individual’s needs and keeps them close to their families.
- Other Services – From Wake Forest Baptist’s Winston-Salem campus, specialists in neurology, nephrology, infectious diseases and cardiology can see and speak with patients and their physicians at community hospitals, using video technology. In many cases, these patients can receive the care they need at their community hospital, avoiding the need to be transported to Winston-Salem and remaining close to the support of loved ones.
“We’re excited to be able to increasingly leverage technology to deliver world-class care to our growing family of patients and network providers,” said Joshua D. Brown, Ph.D., director of telehealth services for Wake Forest Baptist’s Weight Management Center. “Of course, there will always be a place for in-person clinic visits, but our virtual services help us do what’s best for our patients and their families by delivering the right care, at the right time, and in the right place.”
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