Helping Your Patients During Uncertain Times
Many practitioners have temporarily closed their clinics during these uncertain times and are finding creative ways to continue supporting their patients. Now is the time to take advantage of technology and explore creating a virtual practice to reduce illness transmission while continuing to help your patients! We have some ideas.
Review current (and rapidly changing!) western and TCM information about COVID-19 and treatment protocols. Watch the webinar broadcast with Michael McCulloch of Pine Street Foundation and keep up to date with recommendations from the CDC.
Reach out to current patients and those you haven’t seen for a while with a friendly phone call. Elderly patients and others who may be at risk--immune compromised, isolated, or who may be in a difficult financial situation need your help. They will appreciate that you took the time to check-in. Even a short conversation is a connection that we all need right now.
Even if your patients are not suffering from COVID-19, the flu, a cold, or allergies, some are dealing with enormous stress, fear and sleep challenges that could be diagnosed and treated with herbs remotely. Many patients will welcome a telemedicine consultation, and there are lots of options and platforms for doing so, including Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime. Although the HIPAA regulations for telemedicine have been temporarily “relaxed” during this crisis, review your state guidelines to ensure that you are working within your scope for one-on-one video consulting and that you are maintaining appropriate record keeping procedures.
Wondering how to get herbs to your patients? We can quickly ship pills, tablets, and extract formulas directly to them with no additional fee! Do you prefer writing custom prescriptions? Our convenient Dispensary allows you to create and save custom formulas from scratch or modify one of our prescription templates to your patient's needs. Consult if needed with one of our Mayway herbalists on the appropriate formula for your patient.
Other things you can do to strengthen your virtual practice:
- Write blogs or create a newsletter. Remind/educate people about how TCM can protect their health and regulate their immune system.
- Be more active on social media. Use the free Instagram video app (IGTV) to stay in touch with your patients and colleagues.
- Create a (free!) YouTube channel and tell your story; talk about the traditional Chinese medicine system and traditional Chinese herbal medicine (TCHM) in particular. Make the best of these extraordinary circumstances to highlight how important this medicine system is.
- Support your patients with other healing tools such as breathing techniques and Qigong through recorded or live video. Have fun and get some exercise yourself by demonstrating Qigong exercises people can do at home. Now, more than ever, it is important that we maintain our Qi and strength in order to stay well, and this applies to practitioners too! Other fun videos could include acupressure to alleviate a headache, how to cook with herbs or boil a decoction, or therapeutic foot massages.
- Catch up on your CEUs / PDAs. There are many discounted online programs being offered now. Remember all those courses you wanted to take but didn’t have the time?
- Stay informed. Our state and national organizations are doing a fabulous job of keeping us informed. For example, the Florida State Oriental Medicine Association (FSOMA) hosted a free Q&A webinar on the telemedicine topic, featuring Galina Roofener, L.Ac. of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Integrative Medicine. The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) released the article Best Practices for Prescribing Herbal Medicine During the COVID-19 Crisis.
Do you know of resources you can share with your colleagues? What are some of YOUR ideas? Message us on Facebook or Instagram or email our Marketing team and we'll regularly update this document with new tips.
You CAN do this. We are here to help. Together we WILL strengthen our communities, support your patients, and emerge from these difficult times as better practitioners with strong relationships. Stay safe, and don’t forget self care as well.