Dr. Michael Main is a native Iowan who grew up in Johnston and attended Central College in Pella before going to medical school at the University of Iowa. Today he is a board-certified cardiologist living in Kansas City who practices at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, one of the largest cardiology clinics in the country.
Main says Saint Luke's changed its approach to telehealth in a matter of days.
“We went from using telehealth roughly 1% of the time pre-COVID, to 95% of the time post(-COVID). We have 65 cardiologists in our group and by late April we were doing nearly 2,000 telehealth consultations per week.”
Main said telehealth works particularly well for patients with chronic, stable disease.
"There are always times we need to see patients — new patients, for example, or when a patient experiences changes in symptoms — but telehealth is a great tool and patients love the convenience.”
“We have shifted remote diagnostic testing to the home, sending heart monitoring equipment directly to the patient instead of performing the patient instruction in our office. We have been pleasantly surprised how easy this has been. Our patients are more tech-savvy than we realized.”
In the midst of excitement over the use of telehealth, Main emphasized that there is no substitute for coming to the hospital when experiencing symptoms associated with heart attacks or stroke.
"You should not fear having a procedure in the hospital. Hospitals have taken so many steps to protect patients from COVID-19 exposure that they are likely safer now than they were before COVID-19.”
Read the full article from Des Moines Register: Iowa-raised cardiologist: No substitute for hospital when experiencing symptoms associated with heart attacks or stroke