Keeping up with Patient Care During the COVID-19 Quarantine

August 3, 2020

Medha Munshi, MD, discusses the specific challenges of the quarantine and how she was able to help her patients with diabetes comply with their care.

The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a whole host of unforeseen challenges related to health care that had not previously been encountered, especially considering the ease in which our modern society operates today.

While preexisting medical conditions vary in terms of the level of care and the severity, there are some general challenges everyone faces in a quarantine.

For people who are dealing with existing medical conditions, they all have two major concerns facing them: the fear of being vulnerable to the virus, and how do they keep up with their care if they need to go out to see their provider during the pandemic?

And surprisingly enough, there are some common solutions that are applicable to people with different disease states.

Telemedicine, for example, has been widely embraced by many medical specialties.

Diabetes is one of those preexisting medical conditions that providers feared would make people more susceptible to COVID-19. The severity of diabetes, the need for daily compliance and possible provider visits, makes this a good example and possible blueprint for how to take care of patients with preexisting medical conditions.

Medha Munshi, MD, director of the Joslin Geriatric Diabetes Programs at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and associate professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School has been treating seniors with diabetes and looking at how the pandemic has affected care including provider visits and patient compliance.

Munshi coauthored a paper in JAMA on the topic.

In the first segment of her Contagion® interview, she discusses how when everything had to go remote the adjustment that providers and patients with diabetes had to make in visits and care compliance.

Fortunately, the use of technology helped greatly, especially making use of telemedicine, continuous glucose monitoring, and apps for diabetes care. Still, she says in the senior population some have not embraced technology and it makes it more difficult for both the provider and the patient to stay up on compliance.

Check out her insights on this topic.