As Americans are urged to stay home, schools and restaurants have been closed and public gatherings have been canceled in an effort to enforce social distancing. What do these changes mean for healthcare?
Patients with urgent needs are still being treated at Prairie Cardiovascular while those with routine follow-up appointments are being given the choice between a face-to-face visit or a virtual video visit. Virtual visits allow providers to interact with patients, assess their condition, prescribe or change medications and answer questions.
“Our patients’ safety is paramount,” said Dr. John Scherschel, a cardiologist and president of Prairie Cardiovascular. “Social distancing is currently our best defense, so we are working to meet the needs of our patients in creative ways, including via video. Our colleagues are trained and ready to assist our patients in using their home computer or smart phone to connect with Prairie providers.”
Patients who keep their in-person appointments are being called the day before and asked a series of screening questions to determine their risk of exposure to COVID-19. Upon arrival at Prairie, patients are required to have their temperature taken at the door before entering as a further attempt to screen for symptoms of the virus. Visitors are currently restricted at all Prairie locations. Patients who require support are allowed one approved adult visitor who is cold/flu symptom free. Visitors will also be subject to temperature screening before entering.
According to CDC guidelines, those aged 65 and older and those with serious heart conditions are at higher risk for severe illness. Unless there is an urgent need to see a provider in person, these patients are encouraged to schedule video visits or reschedule appointments.