BALTIMORE (WJZ) — While hospitals are trying to limit the exposure of COVID-19 to patients and staff, doctors are still trying to connect with patients through video calls.

As the coronavirus continues to overwhelm the state’s medical system, doctors have shifted to telemedicine delivering health care remotely in an effort to keep patients and staff safe.

In an effort to limit in-person contact, Dr. George Ruiz, a cardiologist at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is conducting routine checkups with patients virtually.

He said the changes could expand the use of telemedicine even after the pandemic ends.

“I think that now what we can expect probably over the next year, I think you’ll see a major expansion in terms of how we can interface with patients remotely,” Ruiz said.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: 

Patient James Killette said the visits seem to be effective.

“It’s very heartwarming to see people that go through extra steps,” he said. ‘(Ruiz) could have just said, ‘Listen, when this is all over, I’ll see you then.'”

MedStar Health providers have delivered 33,498 video visits between March 23 and April 15.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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