By Brooke Katz

(CBSDFW.COM) – The pandemic is changing the way almost all of us receive care from our doctors. Many are now leaning on virtual visits to see their patients.

“I think it’s been very important during this corona-crisis to keep patients out of the hospital, and this has been a very good technique,” said cardiologist Dr. Darryl Kawalsky with North Texas Heart Center at Medical City.

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Kawalsky said he rarely used telehealth to connect with patients before, but now it’s becoming the norm at hospitals in North Texas and across the country. As facilities work to keep staff safe and resources available, it’s become a way for doctors to talk to patients, evaluate their conditions and create treatment plans.

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“It gives patients and their doctors a confidence in their treatment, and it avoids the physical exposure that they otherwise would have had,” Kawalsky said.

A survey earlier this month by BroadbandNow found 75% of Americans are open to virtual visits. Teladoc, a leader in the telemedicine industry, reported that last month it experienced unprecedented daily visit volume.

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Still, Dr. Kawalsky cautioned that it’s no substitute for the emergency room in a true emergency.