No relapses please –
Dec, 25, 2020 – “Patients who were previously well-established in addiction treatment, for example, their clinics may have closed due to COVID, and they’re not able to be seen in person anymore,” she said. “A lot have transitioned to telemedicine, but some have not. And that was a big disruption for a lot of patients who were formerly doing quite well in treatment.”
That shift also took a toll on Wood. When her clinic abruptly switched to telemedicine as COVID-19 cases ballooned, Wood had to become better acquainted with delivering care over digital platforms like Zoom. She also needed to ensure patients had reliable access to devices, like smartphones and computers, to continue their treatment.
Telemedicine sessions can require more mental effort from Wood to connect with her patients the same way she would face-to-face in her office. She said spending multiple hours a day delivering care through a screen has led to “virtual fatigue.” Finding ways to overcome that is just one of the challenges she and other providers have faced as coronavirus reshapes health care.