COVID-19 pandemic is impacting many aspects of the healthcare industry at this time. Hospitals and acute care centers are working tirelessly to maintain the care of patients that have recently been exposed to COVID-19. This is in addition to the various other acute health issues that are not related to the current pandemic such as heart attacks, strokes, appendicitis, injuries, etc. However, another vital component in healthcare is providing maintenance care to patients with many chronic conditions such as diabetes in the outpatient setting. I was able to have the opportunity to speak with Dr. Christine Hoogasian who currently works as a Diabetes Nurse Practitioner.
Christina: Hello Dr. Hoogasian, thank you for joining me for this interview and helping us understand more about your current practice. Which practice do you currently work for and where is it located?
Dr. Hoogasian: I currently work for UMass Memorial Diabetes Adult Clinic in Worcester, MA.
Christina: How long have you been with this practice?
Dr. Hoogasian: I’ve been working for this practice for 11 years.
Christina: What is your favorite part of your job?
Dr. Hoogasian: The best part of my job is being able to see my patients improve their health overtime.
Christina: What is the most challenging part of your job?
Dr. Hoogasian: The most challenging part of my job is convincing patients to properly care for themselves. It is also difficult when patients do not take my advice seriously and their health suffers. In addition, many times I have to deal with insurance companies to get them to cover a medication that I know is beneficial for a patient but sometimes they will not approve them.
Christina: How has COVID-19 affected your business?
Dr. Hoogasian: My practice is doing telephone visits and also offering video visits to keep patients safe and at home. I wear a mask to protect my colleagues from myself in case I am a carrier.
Christina: What kind of changes have you made to be able to still accommodate your customers or clients needs?
Dr. Hoogasian: I am currently studying public health now to learn more about this virus. I still refill all my patients prescriptions and answer all their diabetes and health related questions via telehealth.
As a healthcare provider in primary care, I was glad to have the opportunity to speak with Dr. Hoogasian to see how specialty practices are adjusting to the current pandemic. During this pandemic, I am also managing patients with diabetes and other complex chronic conditions through telemedicine which can be challenging but beneficial as it is allowing us to provide care without having the patient leave the safety of their own home. We are able to provide education, reassurance, and adjustments to treatment, if necessary. The goal is to maintain the health of our patients and to be available to them remotely during this current pandemic.
**Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect privacy of individuals.**
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