Telemedicine in Workers’ Comp | Division of Workers’ CompensationOn December 3, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
[Dr. Harris] Hello, my name is Dr. Harris, and I’m located in Texas, and you are Mrs. Smith, correct? [Mrs. Smith] Yes, that’s correct. [Dr. Harris] Well, tell me what’s going on. Why are we seeing you today? [Mrs. Smith] I hurt my right wrist. It hurts kind of in here. [Dr. Harris Interview] We are fully on board with telemedicine. We have a dedicated team of the care coordinators, operations, center medical directors. We’ve got several physicians that do this. We have everything that we need. We see about 150 visits a week. We’re seeing patients from different employers in about 25 different states in the country. Basically, the patient would have either an application on their phone or on their computer, and all they do is log into the account. They get switched to whatever care coordinator is working at that time. They will alert one of the telemedicine physicians that there’s a patient on your waiting list. [Dr. Harris] And when you showed me, you showed me that it kind of hurts kind of along this thumb line. Is that correct? [Mrs. Smith] Yes. That’s right, kind of this in the side part right here. [Dr. Harris] Okay. [Dr. Harris Interview] They’re holding their phone during the visit. They can’t show everything. So it’s talking a lot more with your hands. I’ll have to say, “Oh, are you’re grabbing overhead and kind of putting it to chest level, grabbing it at chest level and putting it down? Were you doing this?” I have to kind of mimic what they are doing at work, and they will say yes or no. [Dr. Harris] Now, one of the tests that we like to do, and you could just follow me as I do it, I kind of like to have you hold your hand up like this, and then put your thumb down into your palm. Wrap your fingers around it, and then point that whole thing kind of like down towards the ground. Do you feel pain in that area when you do that? [Mrs. Smith] Yes. [Dr. Harris] Yeah, that’s not comfortable? [Mrs. Smith] No. [Dr. Harris] Okay, so there’s a couple muscle tendons that kind of run right through this general area right here, and sometimes you can stretch those out, and you can feel a lot of pain when you lift things, or when you move your thumb around. So what I would recommend is that you actually get a wrist brace. I’m gonna find a picture on my phone real quick so I can show you on the screen, okay? [Mrs. Smith] Okay. [Dr. Harris] Okay, so it looks just like this. [Dr. Harris Interview] Normally we see what we classify as minor injuries. No emergencies obviously, but anybody with sort of sprains, strains, really anything that’s not a major catastrophic emergency, we’ll be happy to see. [Dr. Harris] In the meantime, you could apply some ice to the area. If you feel like you need a little bit more you can take two ibuprofen. It’s just two over-the-counter ibuprofen. [Dr. Harris Interview] The most amazing thing is the fact that people come back more often for their rechecks than they would in a regular clinic because of how convenient it is. The more that you’re seen by a provider, the better people seem to do and the quicker they are to return to work. These patients that are able to be seen immediately and be done that quick and can move on with the rest of their day and start feeling better and getting back to work sooner, they love it too. [Dr. Harris] Do you have any questions for me at all? [Mrs. Smith] No. [Dr. Harris] Well, it’s a pleasure meeting you, and I hope you start feeling better. And we’ll see you in a few days. Okay? [Mrs. Smith] Thank you so much. [Dr. Harris] You’re welcome. Bye bye.