Healthcare, like many industries, has taken on many new forms and adaptations during the past month. Responding to those changes, ensuring the well-being of patients, and upholding the safety and security of staff is a full-time job for Platte Valley Medical Group Administrator Tom McLeod.
Said McLeod, “For the past month-and-a-half the clinic has been playing a dual-role of caring for our current patients while screening, diagnosing and treating COVID-19 patients in coordination with Kearney Regional Medical Center.”
Multiple COVID-19 precautions were implemented right away at the clinic such as: implementing a “Call First” policy for patients and screening for COVID-19 symptoms over the phone, masking all employees, providing PPE for physicians, and caring for all possible COVID-19-positive patients in a separate area.
Virtual Visits were also launched to allow patients to meet virtually with physicians for common clinic appointments. Nearly all of Platte Valley Medical Group’s 43 physicians are enrolled in telemedicine.
But says McLeod, he knows Virtual Health is a not a fit for everyone, especially those with chronic conditions that need regular follow-ups, or to be seen in-person by a physician. That’s why he and others on a COVID-19 taskforce decided to open a separate Respiratory Clinic last Wednesday.
Located on the north side of Platte Valley Medical Group, the Respiratory Clinic is completely separate from the rest of the building, allowing patients to continue to come in for routine care.
Internal Medicine Physician Dr. Scott Smith said, “Ensuring regular visits for our chronically-ill patients is extremely important to make sure they stay healthy and out of the hospital.”
Current patients, or those without a primary care provider, experiencing respiratory issues or symptoms of COVID-19 can call 308-865-2263 to see if they should come to the Respiratory Clinic, and set up an appointment. Upon arrival for their appointment, patients will park in a designated parking area and remain in their car. A nurse will then meet and escort them into the Respiratory Clinic.
Dr. Smith says they’ve tested over 200 patients for COVID-19 since March 1st and have seen more than 94 patients at the Respiratory Clinic since opening it last week.
McLeod said he’s continually impressed by how his staff have responded to the many changes occurring: “I think we take for granted that our medical professionals routinely perform at an extremely high level. Caring for our patients during a pandemic is no different. Our entire team is going above and beyond to make sure our patients are safe and able to maintain their level of health during these ever-changing times.”