Telehealth at Alivation
As an organization, we take great pride in being innovative, adaptable problem solvers that implement solutions quickly. In healthcare, situations change and evolve overnight. This has been proven tenfold recently with the emergence of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the rapid changes to not only the medical field, but to society as well. With quarantines and social distancing procedures in place, it can be hard to reach people at a time when they need it most.
Recognizing this need and wanting to serve, we’re offering increased telehealth options to all our patients. Fortunately, for us and our patients, we have been offering telehealth for over ten years and in the past year our IT department gurus (Nate, Shawn, and John) had chosen, tested, and implemented a telehealth solution that would make in-home telehealth visits scalable for our organization and easy for our patients to connect to.
Alivation has been the Nebraska leader of telehealth for many years. We were the number one user of the Nebraska telehealth network but quickly outgrew its capacity. Thus, we developed our own network. In one recent year we completed over 15,000 telehealth visits which is more than what most large hospital systems were doing at the time. We’ve been named a top telehealth provider. Increasing our telehealth coverage during the COVID-19 situation has been a technical and organizational challenge that we have quickly planned for, implemented, and deployed throughout our entire organization and we did so in less than a week. We enjoy every opportunity to reach more people. Our patients can find comfort in knowing that we are handling all provider and technical aspects of their care rather than outside vendors. Doing this ensures we can continue to personally engage in our patients’ care.
From initial patient consultations, to medication management with our behavioral health and primary care providers, therapy, urgent same-day appointments, COVID-19 screenings, and medication fills with Alivation Pharmacy, you can get it all remotely accomplished through our telehealth VSee app downloaded free to your smartphone or computer. By using Alivation’s telehealth service you won’t have to miss a single appointment or the chance to connect with your healthcare team. It’s vital to our team that we provide you the best care during this difficult time, and that we protect our own team members from potential infection so we can continue to serve your needs.
Getting the free Vsee app is simple. Whether you have an iPhone or Android smartphone, or a computer, use the App Store or Google Play to download it and then follow the rest of the steps online. (Click here to be taken to the official Alivation Telehealth page, which will walk you through each step). Before you know it, you will have access to our entire excellent medical team and COVID-19 screenings. We’ll answer your questions, assist with getting your prescriptions filled, and provide the therapy or counsel you may be looking for.
We’re hoping the COVID-19 situation passes quickly and safely. We want everyone to be healthy and recover fully from this novel infection. We want to continue to be the leader in telehealth, and to always find new ways to assist. We can take care of all of our patients during this unprecedented medical crisis. If you have questions or want to know more, call us at 402-476-6060. We’re standing by to help.
Coronavirus and Mental Health
You’ve heard about it. Everyone has heard about it.
COVID-19, a novel strain of Coronavirus, is making not only headlines, but all the headlines in the world right now. From quarantines to testing to government responses and restrictions, it’s the biggest item in the news right now, by a wide margin. The media response ranges the gamut from simply reporting the facts to what some consider to be promoting outright panic and fear.
We’d discuss the virus ourselves in depth in this blog, but truthfully, we don’t know enough about it yet. It’s spreading quickly, but the mortality rate fluctuates wildly based on location and demographics. Some studies show it being as deadly as the flu, others less so. Population and sample size effect the virus’s mortality measurements, which means we may not even be sure of its potential lethality until well into the future, months or years. But there are a few myths and fears we can clear up.
COVID-19 is a mutated strain of Coronavirus, a natural byproduct of evolution. They’ve happened numerous times in our history, from Spanish, Swine, and Avian Flu to SARS and Ebola. Sickness and panic are part of our shared consciousness now. But it is important to reduce the panic and hysteria and remain calm.
But any kind of change or new disease is cause for study, and possibly concern. COVID-19, much like the flu, needs to be taken seriously. Certain groups within our population are at an increased risk for severe illness and even mortality. Those with elderly loved ones in their care would do well to monitor the disease, and to practice good sanitation procedures and quarantine protocols. Vigilance is the key to preventing dangerous spread. Washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough, and taking off from work when you feel sick are also beneficial practices.
Psychologically, pandemics can be terrifying. We’re all used to images of the Black Death, or the Spanish Flu of 1918. The media feeds into this of course, and you’ll see many, many trending Coronavirus-related hashtags on Twitter and Facebook. There’s lots of misinformation out there, and it only feeds our paranoia and the fear of the unknown. Truth be told, there is a lot of unknown with COVID-19. We’ll learn more in the coming weeks, and adjust and measure our responses then.
For Alivation’s part, we’re prepared for Coronavirus. We have a committed team and we’re following strict federal guidelines and procedures to prevent the spread. We have a building full of trained, smart professionals who will do everything in their power to not only prevent the spread, but to protect anyone who may be diagnosed with it in the future. In short, you’re very safe here. Our Primary Care is ready and trained to provide help and guidance any way they can.
Our advice: Don’t panic. Get your information from credible sources such as the CDC, World Health Organization, or your provider. And if you feel sick or simply want a checkup to make sure, please give us a call and we can help you determine your next steps.
Spring and Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder
We all know about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) striking in the winter. The cold, lack of light, and general dreariness can make us forget what the sun even looked like. It’s easy to get down during those months.
But what about reverse SAD? Can people get depressed and anxious in the spring?
It’s not as well known, but reverse SAD can absolutely happen, and is more common than we may realize. The causes are slightly different than winter SAD, however. For starters, spring SAD can happen because of psychological change, especially because of how quickly winter can end. We get into the winter groove, perhaps accept it, and learn to live with it. But then it ends, and the sun comes back, and everything starts to turn green. It’s beautiful, but it isn’t hard to see how abrupt change can trigger anxiety or depression.
Spring, philosophically, also tends to be a time of memories and reflection. Our mood can turn wistful, and the changing season can remind us of the changes in life, and the changes we all go through with time. For many people, this is a minor feeling. For some, it can trigger great emotional anxiety. For others, wistful memories can trigger outright depression.
So if you’re feeling anxious or depressed as spring heads in, don’t feel alone. There are many others who feel this way, and often likely for the same reasons you do. Mental health challenges can strike everyone, and it isn’t shameful to admit when you feel you have a problem you’d like addressed.
How is spring SAD handled, then?
Similar to winter SAD: Be active, find hobbies, exercise or eat healthier, indulge a passion, think about the brighter parts of life, and take time for meditation and positive self-reflection. Don’t let anything weigh you down if you don’t want it to. If psychological coping strategies aren’t enough, then consult a doctor or a licensed mental health practitioner. Give Alivation a call. We go through the same things as our patients, and we’re always ready and happy to listen.
There’s no shame in having reverse SAD. It doesn’t make you weird, and coping with it can take many forms. Finding friends and loved ones and chatting with them about your challenges can help, too. You might find you’re in good company, and the people you care the most about share the same challenges and problems that you do. There’s always psychological strength in numbers, and a caring community to help you through whatever rough patches you face, and no matter the time of year they arise.
Elevation = Alivation
We get this one a lot.
No, really, a lot.
So often, people find Alivation Health by searching for Elevation, or Elevation Health, or sometimes Elevation/Lincoln combos. We’re frequently asked at career and business fairs if we’re a mountain climbing company. Sometimes people ask us outright if we meant to write Elevation but simply spelled it wrong as Alivation. The answer to both is always no, but we certainly understand the confusion. Let’s clear it up.
In 2017, Premier Psychiatric, LLC added a primary care specialty division and a pharmacy which led to our rebranding to Alivation Health. It was a good change; the integration of pharmacy, research, and primary care with brain health means we can see more people, help more patients, and provide a greater depth of services for everyone. It’s strengthened our organization immensely to add these abilities. We have countless people tell us how thankful they are to have an all-in-one care facility in Lincoln.
For all these services, we needed a unique name that captured everything we offer simultaneously. Premier Psychiatric didn’t fit; we weren’t just psychiatric anymore, we had new, expanded services in completely different health sectors that made evolution natural and necessary. So we came up with a new name, one totally original that would help us stand out from the rest of the pack.
The name Alivation is what’s called a portmanteau, or a combination of two existing words to make a new word. Alive and Innovation were combined, Aliv + ation, to make the new name. It’s a pure, occasionally humorous coincidence that the new word sounds like elevation. They have the same number of syllables, same suffix, both begin with a vowel. We can’t blame anyone for being confused about it.
On top of that, we’re not that frustrated by being compared to elevation. There isn’t another company in the area named that, so we don’t worry about them seeing all our patients, or our online traffic being diverted somewhere. Plus, the word isn’t dissimilar from our meaning: we also want people to visualize climbing, elevating themselves with their care. It’s an upward journey. So in context, it makes sense as well. We just don’t happen to sell climbing equipment or gear, and we think an exclusive mountain climbing company in a flatter state like Nebraska might have some business challenges of its own.
So we take the elevation/Alivation intersection in stride, and don’t begrudge it. The new name is still young after all, so we’re always finding new ways to get our message and (correct) name out there for everyone. But we still love the imagery, even if it wasn’t intended. Health and wellness are journeys we all take, and no matter what name they go by, they’ll always have an essential place in our lives.