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What is telemedicine's role in vaccine distribution?

Certintell Teleheath CEO Benjamin Lefever says his company serves as a "conduit" to get concerned patients accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Starting Feb 1, more Iowans will begin receiving COVID-19 vaccinations under Phase 1B, and the CEO of Certintell Telehealth believes telemedicine could be pivotal in helping with vaccine distribution. 

"Pre-pandemic we were engaging about a thousand patients," Founder & CEO Benjamin Lefever said. "Now we're about 10,000."

The company provides remote monitoring services to patients, sometimes chronically-ill, in 25 states and also helps those who are underserved and in rural areas. 

With the rollout of more phases for vaccinations coming, Lefever believes telehealth can also be helpful because they can deliver important vaccination information to patients who might not be aware of the messages. 

"A key one, today, is being able to identify where a site is at," Lefever said. "Not only where they can get the vaccine, but get tested."

By distributing information to patients in need, Lefever says the health care gap is being closed.

He said some of his patients of color are still apprehensive about getting the vaccine.

Lefever and his staff use a small portion of time after each visit with concerned patients to go over the facts of the vaccine.

"Telehealth, because of more touchpoints, will be a conduit to continue to educate patients where they are, to up their comfort level with getting the vaccine," Lefever said.

For patients who do have concerns, the clinic Certinell partners with is alerted so they can also speak with the clients and reinforce why the vaccine is essential.

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