Phoebe expands her virtual services


ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – Phoebe Putney Health System is expanding its virtual tours, which also include emergency care visits.

Phoebe’s doctors said they started virtual visits in February. Since then, they have seen more patients in their primary care offices through telehealth services.

Doctors said these services have been of great benefit to people who cannot or might be afraid to visit a doctor’s office at this time.

“The fact that we can do telemedicine has allowed me to continue to care for them responsibly,” said Dr Derek Heard. “One downside to telemedicine is the fact that we live in southwest Georgia. It is still one of the most underserved regions of the country in terms of infrastructure in terms of communication. So we have a lot of patients who don’t have access to WiFi.

Dr Derek Heard(source: WALB)

Heard said they are working around this communication challenge. He said one of the ways they do this is by having Phoebe provide tables in their offices that patients can use to receive telemedicine services.

He said you can even use the tablets in your vehicle, in the parking lot, if you don’t feel comfortable being inside the building.

Phoebe officials said emergency care virtual tours are available Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can book an appointment through the Phoebe Access mobile app, by calling (229) 312-6963 or by visit the Pheobe website.

Phoebe officials said common reasons for choosing an emergency care virtual tour include:

  • Upper respiratory tract infections (sinusitis, common cold)
  • Sore throat (streptococcus, viral)
  • Lower respiratory tract infections (pneumonia, COVID, flu)
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Pink eye
  • Skin infections / rashes
  • Mechanical back pain
  • Knee / ankle sprains / joint pain
  • Headache / Earache
  • Gastrointestinal infection (nausea / vomiting / diarrhea)

They also want to remind patients that virtual visits should not be used for life-threatening emergencies.

Officials said anyone facing a real emergency should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency center immediately.

Copyright 2020 WALB. All rights reserved.


Perry A. Thomasson