You are using an older version of Internet Explorer that is not supported on this site. Please upgrade for the best experience.
Lisa Coughlin  Frontline Stories 1200 8310

COVID-19 struck, office visits paused and technology saved the day

Northampton primary care provider Lisa Coughlin shares her personal COVID-19 story—and why she's optimistic.

Lisa Coughlin Shares Her Story

My name is Lisa Coughlin. I’m a family nurse practitioner at Baystate Family Medicine - Northampton. When the pandemic reached our area, it drastically changed how we interact with patients. In order to practice social distancing and keep our patients and ourselves safe, we transitioned all of our patient visits from face-to-face visits to telehealth.

I was surprised by how many patients adapted to telehealth right away. I’ve found that even though we’re communicating through video, patients appear more relaxed and open to sharing when they’re in their own comfort zones, such as their living room or home office. When patients have a particular area they want me to examine, such as a mark on their arm, they move so they’re just a few inches from the camera. That works well.

Now, after months of telehealth and phone visits only, it is safe for patients who pass our screening for COVID-19 symptoms to come back to our offices. We are taking many safety precautions. For instance, all staff wear masks, face shields or goggles and our waiting room is large and can accommodate patients sitting six feet apart.

Patients who would like to continue with telehealth visits are welcome to continue.

The pandemic has given me an even greater appreciation for childcare workers. My husband and I have two children ages 2 ½ and 4. We are both essential workers. Since Baystate Health has been so flexible and providers can do telehealth from home, I am able to work from home some of the time and take care of our children. Thank you to all of our childcare providers out there. You are essential in our lives and help us mold our children into kind, smart and creative people!

Given my optimistic mentality, I know we will get back to a normal way of living at some point. I’m confident that together we will continue to slow this virus in its tracks.

Keeping Us All Safe

We're doing everything we can to provide safe care across Baystate Health. Whether you need to visit the ED for an emergency or you're coming in for a visit, we assure you that we are taking detailed measures to keep you safe.

Learn More About COVID-19 Safety