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Provided by Sentara Health

Telehealth, Seniors, and the Patient/Physician Relationship

Across the nation, patients have begun relying heavily on telehealth to receive routine care while staying safe from COVID-19. Sentara went from conducting about 100 video visits each week before the pandemic to approximately 4,000 every week currently. There was a surge of 9,000-10,000 visits per week during April when COVID-19 cases initially peaked in Virginia and stay-at-home orders were in effect.

Telehealth has become especially important to senior patients. This includes many assisted living and skilled nursing facility residents who are unable to leave because they are high-risk for the virus. Data from before the pandemic shows Sentara patients ages 70 and older were among the least likely to use telehealth. Just six months later, telehealth usage among the same demographic has increased 891%,much higher than what some national surveys are reporting. They now make up 25% of all virtual visits at Sentara. These numbers were even higher during the April peak.

Although the way they receive care has drastically changed for many of these patients and residents, the relationships they have with their care team don’t have to. A Sentara expert is available to speak about the benefits of telehealth for seniors and other at-risk individuals, and how healthcare professionals can and are fostering and maintaining meaningful relationships that are invaluable to patient care, even when they can’t meet in person.

The Importance of Flu Shots During COVID-19

Sentara’s Influenza Task Force is meeting regularly to prepare for an unknown flu season, but one thing is clear: it is crucial to get the flu shot this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sentara leaders are encouraging children and adults to get a flu vaccine this year to better protect our communities. Flu symptoms are very similar to those of COVID-19. Both viruses are more severe for the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions. Getting a flu shot to prevent the flu will allow healthcare professionals to better manage the COVID-19 pandemic, save thousands of lives, and preserve health care resources.

Sentara Healthcare Focuses on Reducing Health Disparities in Prostate Cancer

In recognition of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Sentara is highlighting the health disparities present in prostate cancer patients

  • Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States.
  • One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetimes.
  • Black men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer as white men, and two to three times more likely to die from the disease.
  • Early detection is key. Five-year survival percentage is 90 percent or higher for stage 1-3 patients and 30 percent for stage 4 patients.

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