THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 STRIKES SWIFTLY in MARCH 2020
As last week’s patient activity plummeted in every area, mostly by proactive design, but accelerated by community choice to stay away, we can see that delivery of our services is down between 60 and 70% of normal activity. This lockdown intention has curbed consumer activity in most of the Community’s businesses (Ray’s and DG being the few exceptions). Now that, as a hospital we have reacted to the immediate need of building a protective cocoon against COVID-19, I feel it is incumbent on us to take the next steps of slowly returning to our business model of addressing and treating our patients routine health needs. The door of telemedicine is a very safe method for this return to patient care and I am glad that CMS has directed the insurance world to quickly address payment and credentialing methodologies to make telemedicine a viable alternative. We can now see patients from a Rehab and a Clinic delivery setting directly into a patient’s home. We are encouraging the use of Doxy.me being our communication vehicle, which utilizes a patient’s email address for method of connectivity. So please pitch this message to all your friends…we will do so through our corporate Facebook sites.
The other key message to get out to the public is that our Clinics have separated how they schedule in-house patients into morning and afternoon condition categories. The mornings are reserved for what we categorize “well visits”: follow-ups, script refill needs, and annual physicals. The afternoons are reserved for those with new onset symptoms or for those feeling bad – more for the acutely sick patients. This separation should give those wanting to avoid exposures to schedule appointments in the mornings. Remember all patients need to call in first. Walk-ins will most likely be turned away. Remember too…we are encouraging use of Doxy.me for virtually seeing those in need of sick visits!!!
We continue to evolve through a known quarantine period in our Community and there is relatively good news in that all monitored individuals have not yet developed significant symptoms and those that have, have been tested negative. As we close out a 14 day period by Saturday, the 28th, there is real hope that some community spread has been mitigated. This does not mean we are out of the COVID-19 woods by any means…it means our social distancing is having some positive results! Everyone: Keep up the great work in this difficult time!!