CCAO Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Current public health guidelines call for social distancing and other measures to protect all of us from infection with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Risk factors for more severe COVID-19 infections include older age and certain other medical conditions that suppress normal functioning of the immune system. Many of our patients fall into the high risk category.

We at CCAO are doing our part to protect our patients, our staff and our communities from the virus. In appropriate cases, this includes providing medical care remotely using a process called telehealth. Telehealth is new to most of us and might seem intimidating at first. Below are answers to some common questions regarding telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call us at 720.494.4700.

What is telehealth?

Telehealth is a video chat platform, similar to Skype or FaceTime. It allows the patient and provider to see and hear one another and interact in real time. There are several platforms available to provide telehealth services. CCAO uses a platform called is secure and uses encryption technology to keep the interaction between you and your provider private.

How do I schedule a telehealth visit?

Please call us at 720.494.4700. One of our medical receptionists will be happy to register you and schedule a time that meets your needs.

What equipment do I need for a telehealth visit?

Our telehealth platform is simple to use and doesn’t require special equipment or expertise. It requires either a phone with a front-facing camera or a computer with a Web cam. The video aspect of the interaction is definitely helpful for both patient and provider. It aids in effective communication and can allow your provider to examine your joints and other body parts visually. However, if you don’t have a phone or computer with a camera or have technical difficulties with the video connections, we can also perform a telehealth visit via a regular phone call. For more information about having a successful telehealth visit using the platform, click here.

How will my telehealth visit work?

Prior to your visit, you will receive an e-mail with instructions and a link to allow you to enter the “virtual waiting room” on your visit day. We also need you to sign a brief telehealth consent that our staff will provide to you prior to your visit.

A few minutes before your scheduled visit time, one of our nursing staff will call you on the phone. They will assist you in connecting and getting into the virtual waiting room. They can also send you the waiting room link by text at this time if you are connecting from your phone. Once you are in the virtual waiting room, our staff will review your medications, allergies and medical history with you, just like at an in-person visit. Once the check-in is complete, you will wait for your provider to connect with you on the app. Your provider will then talk with you, examine you and formulate a management plan.

Can you still see me via telehealth if I am a new patient?

Yes. Many of the symptoms and testing abnormalities that require a consultation with a rheumatologist can be evaluated appropriately via telehealth. In addition to the above features of any telehealth visit, we require a patient health questionnaire to be filled out prior to every new patient visit. There are also a few additional forms that need to be completed and signed. At the time that your appointment is scheduled, our staff will communicate with you about how you will receive the links to fill these forms our prior to your visit.

If your rheumatologist determines at your initial visit that your care requires an in-person visit to one of our offices, we will arrange this at a time and location that is convenient for you.

What if I need to come into the office?

While we can serve the medical needs of many of our patients with telehealth encounters, there are several reasons why you may need to come into the office. These include having your blood drawn, receiving an injectable or infusible medication or being directly examined by a provider when an appropriate exam isn’t possible with telehealth. While the majority of our patient interactions are now occurring via telehealth, all of our offices are fully staffed to meet these in-person medical needs.

When you arrive for an in-person visit, we will check you in and get you into the appropriate clinical area as soon as possible. We take great care to minimize COVID-19 risk in our offices, including frequent disinfection of surfaces and attention to appropriate social distancing. All staff wear masks and we do not allow any staff to work if they are experiencing any symptoms concerning for possible COVID-19 infection. Our infusion and phlebotomy chairs are disinfected after every visit. We assure that an appropriate distance between infusion and blood draw patients is maintained at all times.

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