Center for Healthy Living joins telemedicine services offered by Purdue

As shared recently in Purdue Today, the Center for Healthy Living (CHL) on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus is no longer offering in-person or walk-in appointments but instead is providing care via telehealth services and will continue to do so until further notice.

The decision to move away from face-face appointments was made in order to best maintain the health and safety of the Purdue family and support the community public health response to the ever-evolving COVID-19 virus.

The CHL’s telehealth option joins the already-in-place telemedicine services provided by LiveHealth Online, the Anthem NurseLine and Anthem’s Sydney Care mobile app; all options are cost-effective (or free) means of care supported by Purdue’s health plans. According to Forbes, the increasing reliance upon telemedicine could be a glimmer of light in our current world of social distancing. Read the article here.

“Having these resources in place for Purdue employees, especially now as we experience never-before-seen situations present themselves in terms of healthcare challenges, I’m thankful Purdue is able to provide telehealth services through a variety of avenues that provide quality care and cost savings, too,” said Candace Shaffer, senior director of benefits in Human Resources. “Our goal is to keep the Purdue community as healthy as possible, and by using telehealth when appropriate, employees pay less for care provided by LiveHealth Online and the CHL than if they went to urgent care or the ER. Telehealth also allows them to seek care from their homes and removes the chance of community exposure to COVID-19.”

According to Jen Hodges, executive vice president of operations at the CHL, offering telehealth services is the most efficient way for the providers and staff to continue to assist patients.

“After much discussion and review of best practices recently implemented by surrounding medical facilities for outpatient services, we made the decision to move care solely to telehealth services during this public health crisis,” said Jen Hodges, executive vice president of operations at the CHL.

“Offering telehealth services is the most efficient way for us to be able to continue to assist patients, fill necessary maintenance medications and treat as many acute patients as we can without exposing others,” she added.

Assisting patients without exposing those who are seeking care and those who are already waiting for care is one benefit of telehealth services, but as mentioned above, the ability to fill necessary maintenance medications is also very important, according to Jamie Woodyard, worksite health pharmacist at the CHL.

“Maintenance medications are used to treat chronic conditions,” Woodyard explained. “Some common chronic conditions that require daily maintenance medications are heart disease, asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes – all conditions which put individuals at a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19. I’m thankful we are able to continue this type of support to our patients right now; it is essential to those patients’ ongoing care.”

CHL staff will continue to report to the center during normal operating hours – 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays – which allows patient calls to be triaged and moved to the appropriate staff member for assistance. Providers will address any concerns they can via telephone, including screening those who present with flu-like symptoms. Referrals will be made for further evaluation and testing as necessary.

“We support and appreciate those at the CHL and across the globe who continue to put themselves on the front line in order to care for others,” Shaffer said. “We’re hopeful the telehealth option at the CHL – in addition to LiveHealth Online, the Anthem NurseLine and the Sydney Care app – will encourage individuals who might not otherwise have sought care for respiratory illnesses or otherwise to do so.”

As decisions are made, the CHL and entire University continue to monitor and follow guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The CHL can be reached at 765-494-0111.