COVID-19, MS and Telemedicine
Many things have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic but regardless of this situation, your healthcare continues. People living with MS may be expected to change the manner in which their healthcare team works with them during this time. Rather than face-to-face consultations, many clinicians are using telemedicine to engage with their patients. People living with MS may already have had a consultation with their consultant, MS nurse or member of their team over the phone but for many, this will be a new experience.
we have compiled a list of tips for you so you can make the most of your telemedicine consultation
- If you are using a mobile phone and the battery is low when the call comes in, let the caller know. You can give them another number to call if there is another phone available in your household or you can ask them to call back later when your phone has charged.
- Try to take the call in a place that has good phone reception.
- Have a pen and paper handy so you can take notes if you wish.
- List any issues you would like to raise or questions you would like to ask.
- Have a list of all medications you are currently taking including frequency and dosage. A template medications list can be found here on our website https://www.ms-society.ie/sites/default/files/2020-04/Medicines%20list.pdf
- If you need a prescription renewed be sure to let your healthcare provider know.
- If you advised by your healthcare professional to remain at home as a precaution due to the COVID-19 pandemic and you need a letter of support from your neurologist for your employer to confirm this, you can request it on this call.
- If you feel you have new or worsening symptoms of MS you need to let a member of your healthcare team know. It is a good idea to keep track of any issues, rating the duration and severity so you can accurately report issues to your healthcare provider.
- If you had appointments for MRI or infusions which are now being postponed, it is fair to ask when these might go ahead. Healthcare teams may not have a clear answer on this but may be able to give you some information.
- Ask your provider how best to get in touch with the team at this time should you need to contact them.
- Ask if there is anything you need to do. For example, do you need to have bloods taken?
- Ask if your next appointment is being scheduled or when you can expect another call from the clinic.
- At the end of your call keep any notes you have made in a safe place so you can easily find them for follow-up.
We know some people may find this to be a daunting experience as it is something new to many of us. Just like a regular clinic, after your appointment there may be questions you have forgotten to ask or something you are not clear on. If this is the case you can always make contact with your healthcare team again to clarify.