Jennifer Robblee, MD: Mitigating Safety Concerns for Telemedicine Exams

May 11, 2020

The neurologist at the Barrow Neurological Institute discussed how to best address telemedicine appointments and exams for patients who may be at risk for a fall or some other safety concern.

“Document what you’re seeing—it’s amazing how much we can document just based on that visual. If someone’s got a cane, you want to know why they have the cane and if you really want them up walking, if they’re by themselves?”

With the push toward moving medical visits to virtual rooms through a number of audio/visual telemedicine platforms, the neurologist’s ability to conduct examinations can be a little challenging. Although, even though the hands-on exam is preferred, there are ways to properly examine patients via telemedicine.

Early on during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jennifer Robblee, MD, neurologist, Jan and Tom Lewis Migraine Treatment Program, and assistant professor of neurology, Barrow Neurological Institute, hosted a Facebook Live event for the American Headache Society on the topic, providing examples from her experience with telemedicine over the years. One of her biggest points that’s been echoed by other providers to NeurologyLive has been on the insight you can gather from observing patients in their homes—and attention to detail can be crucial.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Robblee discussed how to identify and mitigate the risk of falls for patients while conducting virtual visits. This has been a concern for some physicians, as patients who would normally be in a setting with the physician by their side are now possibly alone and at risk for a fall. She offered her insight and advice for fellow neurologists and headache specialists who are now conducting neurological examinations via telemedicine on how to pick up on these red flags and when telemedicine might not be appropriate.