Practice Management Tools
for Use During the COVID-19 Crisis
APHA’s master list of practice tools, including many more categories than found below, can be found on the APHA membership website, available to members-only.
Video / Audio Conferencing*
Use these tools to connect with clients and professionals when you can’t, or prefer not to meet with them in person. The US federal government has suspended the requirement for adherence to HIPAA during the crisis (no end date provided.)
- Facetime (one-on-one, requires Apple devices)
- Google Hangouts (free through July 1, for small groups)
- Google Hangouts Meet (for teams, must subscribe to G-Suite)
- Zoom (free for use up to 40 minutes)
- Uberconference (free up to 50 participants)
- Microsoft Teams (subscribe to Office 365)
- Webex (encrypted)
And others. Make a suggestion!
Connect patients to medical support to avoid hospital or appointment visits. Best practices for making that contact are found at right, or below.
A first choice should be whatever options are provided by the patient’s insurer. Check the insurer’s website or call to ask.
If the insurer’s telemed isn’t sufficient (or doesn’t exist), then these sites offer medical review by phone or video conference.
And others. Make a suggestion!
As of 3/17/20: Here is CMS.gov’s Fact Sheet on the topic, targeted to providers
Before you call, compile this information in writing ahead of your call so you can recite it as needed:
- Insurance details and credit card information.
- A list of the symptoms you’re experiencing that prompted the appointment.
- Relevant medical history, including chronic conditions – anything that could affect the doctor’s decision-making or recommendations.
- A list of your prescriptions and dosages, including over-the-counter meds or herbal supplements you take, including vitamins.
- Your pharmacy’s phone number and address. (There are often many locations, so be sure you can pinpoint the right one.)
- Your primary doctor’s name and contact information.
Additional advice: (shared by Linda Beck)
- Get organized. Be prepared to describe your concern, the symptoms, when they started and what you have already tried to feel better that did – or didn’t – work. Make notes before you connect with the provider so you don’t forget anything.
- Remember that the provider may not have all of your records in front of them. Be prepared to list the medications and any over the counter products you take (name, dose, frequency, and when you started (if the medication is new)), as well as to describe any recent test results that might be relevant to the appointment.
- Use the camera on your phone, laptop or tablet. Your appearance in a live picture can give the provider important additional information. No one cares if your hair is a mess.
- Have someone with you to take notes and help you gather information.
- Have your pharmacy information (location and phone number) ready. If the provider says they are going to order a medication, call the pharmacy to confirm that they have received the order and find out when it will be ready. You may have to call the provider’s office to track it down.
No claim of quality of service is made for any of these tools. APHA does not recommend any tool listed on this site. This information is provided only to help you find the right service for you, your clients, and/or your practice.
If you use a telehealth website, please be aware that information you provide through the site may be sold to third party users (like Facebook, Google or Twitter) and that the site may allow the information to be read, collected, or used by other users. Your information does not have the same protection as information you give to a health care provider in other settings. (shared by Linda Beck)