What do you do if you need to see a doctor for non-COVID19 concerns?

HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) -- Doctors' offices around the country are closing for non-essential services.

So, what do you do when you know it's not an emergency, but you still really need to talk to a doctor?

"Folks still need to get a refill on their blood pressure medicine or they still need to talk about their diabetes or all those types of things that they would normally do," explained Dr. Ryan Walsh, the Chief Medical Information Officer at Memorial Hermann.

Nearly all Memorial Hermann doctors are now able to treat patients through video conferencing.

"Let's say you have high blood pressure," Dr. Walsh explained, "and you message me through the patient portal and I say, 'Hey, increase your blood pressure medicines and then I want you to take your blood pressure every day for two weeks and in two weeks I want you to email me those blood pressures back and tell me how you feel.'"

From March 24th to the 31st, Memorial Hermann doctors have seen 2600 patients through video or phone.

Every day, more than 150 people are calling the emergency room for virtual pre-screenings.

But, it's important to remember, virtual visits will never replace all visits.

"My goodness, if you're having trouble breathing or you haven't been able to keep food down and you feel dehydrated, those things where you still need really want to go in and see your provider," Dr. Walsh explained. "It doesn't replace the old way, but it's meant to augment it and help us do our jobs better."
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