Don’t Pause Your Emergent, Urgent, and Routine Healthcare From the Expert July 22, 2020 By: Nicole Gilg , MD, MPH, CPE, FAAFP Chief Physician Quality Officer and Section Chief, Primary Care Clinic The COVID-19 pandemic may have put many parts of life on pause right now, but your health should not be one of them. Promptly seeking care for your non-COVID-related emergent, urgent, or routine healthcare needs is important. Health conditions that are left untreated can worsen, making them more difficult to treat, or perhaps even life threatening. Simply delaying routine visits, such as well-child exams, can negatively impact vaccines, health screenings, and referral needs. Hospitals and clinics are prepared to safely – and possibly virtually – address your care. Your Safety is Top Priority All medical providers in our community have implemented thorough safety measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. Be assured, you are safe when seeking healthcare. Broadlawns is committed to creating a healthy community and has made the following safety enhancements: Separating Infectious Patients: Patients exhibiting infectious symptoms are kept in isolated areas isolated to avoid exposure. Visitor Restrictions: Only patients with appointments and their one designated caregiver are admitted. Screenings: Patients and visitors are screened upon entry based on the following criteria: fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell. Masks and Face Coverings: All patients and visitors over the age of 2 are required to wear face coverings. Providers and staff are required to wear masks at all times. Socially Distant Waiting Areas: Seating is arranged so patients keep 6 ft. of distance between one another. Barriers: Plexiglass barriers have been installed at registration desks to protect staff and patients from the spread of droplets. Hand Sanitizer: Hand sanitizer is available throughout the campus. Cleaning and Disinfection: All high touch areas are cleaned and disinfected regularly. Broadlawns is proud to have been the first in the state to acquire a Xenex robot which emits ultraviolet light that is 20,000 times more intense than sunlight to eradicate harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and bacterial spores from exposed surface areas. This state-of-the-art technology disinfects Broadlawns’ surgical suites, examination rooms, patient rooms, and restrooms. Employee COVID-19 Screening: Broadlawns employees are screened daily for COVID-19 symptoms. Virtual Care Visits While Broadlawns has enhanced COVID-19 screening and safety, you may be able to address your care needs virtually. Providers from our primary care, mental health, and specialty clinics are now offering virtual care services. Virtual care is a safe and convenient way to take care of your routine health needs. A virtual care visit is a face-to-face video appointment with your healthcare provider using a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Broadlawns utilizes a secure platform that is integrated with your health records and the Patient Portal for virtual face-to-face visits. During your visit, providers can review your medical history, prescribe medications as needed, and discuss any of your health-related concerns including new concerns as well as follow-up to existing medical problems. To schedule a virtual care visit, simply call the clinic during normal business hours to see what options are available (please note, virtual care is not available for all clinics). Here are some tips to make the most of your virtual care visit: Be prepared! Log into the patient portal 15 minutes prior to your appointment to complete your registration and guarantee you can utilize your full appointment time. If you have any difficulties logging in, please contact the clinic that scheduled your virtual visit - our Patient Access Representatives are ready to help. Treat this like an in-office visit. Have all of your medications and health logs with you. Be prepared with your list of questions, concerns or symptoms. Find a place that is both quiet and private. It is important to have a space where you can focus your attention and discuss sensitive topics if needed. Ensure you have a strong internet connection. Ask questions! When to Seek Help If you or a loved one are experiencing a healthcare crisis, please seek help right away. Call 911 or visit the nearest ER. Broadlawns’ Emergency Department and Urgent Care Clinics are safe, and fully equipped to provide care. The following are common symptoms of illness which require calling 911, or seeking emergency care: Active/severe bleeding Chest pain Difficulty breathing Serious injury Head injury or other major trauma Loss of consciousness or fainting Sudden loss of vision Sudden numbness or weakness Loss of limb Convulsions or seizures Poisoning or overdose of drug or alcohol Any other life-threatening condition While many things may be uncertain, your health doesn’t need to be. It is safe and essential to promptly address your emergent, urgent, or routine healthcare needs. Broadlawns Medical Center is always here to help. All insurances are accepted.