Telemedicine progression


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — 2020 brought hardships for many, but when it comes to telemedicine the progression is something to highlight. Patients at Sanford Health can now be seen for wide variety of health issues.

Since the start of 2020, Aberdeen natives Jenna and Alex Boekelheide have been hoping to grow their family. Their journey has come with its challenges, beginning with infertility.

“IVF and infertility treatments in general are it’s, it’s a tough road,” Jenna said.

A road that got even tougher when the pandemic hit.

“We actually got shut down because of the pandemic. And we had to take a few months off of our infertility journey. And then, because of everything, we were able to start seeing Dr. Von Wald, via virtual visits,” Jenna said.

With the progression of telemedicine since the start of the pandemic, Dr. Tiffany Von Wald says virtual visits have expanded to include appointments for a wide variety of health issues.

“I believe 74 different specialties at Sanford now are using virtual visits. And I suspect if you talk to all of those providers in patients, you’ll hear probably mostly positive feedback,” Dr. Tiffany Von Wald said.

Although telemedicine was around before the pandemic, the process has been made even easier for patients over the last year.

“We were doing some similar visits via TeleMed, prior to the pandemic, but that required patients going into a Sanford facility. And then essentially talking over a computer in a physician’s office building or exam room,” Von Wald said.

With the changes, Jenna and Alex are able to do most appointments from the comfort of their own home, only having to travel to Sioux Falls for major procedures.

“Even without the pandemic, knowing how involved IVF is and how much interaction you have to have with your doctor and how many tests are involved. I think we would choose this option and still do the data collecting in Aberdeen,” Alex said.

And while they may be far from their providers, they say the connection isn’t lost along the way.

“She’s got to meet our dog. Our dog’s been able to partake in some of the virtual appointments too. And that’s one thing, Dr. Von Wald has told us is that she’s got to meet everybody’s pets through the appointment. So that’s one advantage that you don’t get to do normally,” Alex said.

If you’re interested in using telemedicine you should call your provider.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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