COVID-19 Clinic Updates

 

There's a lot of information here but this is a very dynamic situation and all of us must be on the same page.

Yes, we are here both in person and via telemedicine

We are fully staffed and here for you during this time.  We are seeing patients in the clinic under certain circumstances and utilizing telemedicine visits for all patients that can not or should not physically visit the clinic. If you have a care need please call the office as it is very important that you do not walk into the clinic without receiving prior approval from a member of our staff before doing so.  When you contact the office with a care need here is what you can expect (this applies to every patient, regardless of if they're calling in for a sick appointment or a need unrelated to an illness):

  • We will ask about your symptoms;

  • We will ask about your recent travel history;

  • We will ask about your known or potential exposure history to COVID-19 ("Coronavirus")

Based on your answers we will determine if it's okay for you to visit the clinic, if it would be best to do a telemedicine visit, or if you should seek more advanced care from another facility.

If it is determined a telemedicine appointment is the most prudent method of meeting with you please click the following link to our telemedicine page which will guide you through that process.  It is our opinion that a telemedicine appointment with your local, established physician is preferred to those of random telemedicine providers as: 

  • We know you and you know us;

  • We have access to your chart and don't have to start from scratch each time we interact;

  • We have a current working knowledge of local resource capabilities and protocols should they need to be employed in your care;

  • We are receiving and monitoring ongoing updates from federal, state and local governmental sources as well as on-the-ground updates from Piedmont Healthcare, our affiliated physician network, which allows us to incorporate local operational knowledge into the care plans of our patients.

Our telemedicine link is available here: 

If we advise it is okay for you to physically visit the clinic (again, approval to visit the clinic will be discussed on the phone in advance of your appointment) please be aware of the following infection control protocols which are in effect until further notice:

  • When you originally phoned the office to schedule your appointment we asked several screening questions.  Please phone the office prior to visiting the clinic if there is any change from the time we asked those screening questions and the time you are scheduled to visit the clinic if there is any change or evolution in:

    • Your symptoms (particularly the development of a fever of any degree or if you develop chills, chest congestion, shortness of breath, or any other respiratory symptoms);

    • Your travel history; or

    • Your exposure history.

  • Visitors are not allowed:  We are not allowing anyone other than your children to accompany you into the facility;

  • Upon arrival to the office:

    • If you are not sick:

      • Please sanitize your hands at the kiosk in the foyer.  Wait 30 seconds for the sanitizer to take effect;

      • Please check in at the front desk;

      • Please provide the front desk staff with your cell phone number;

      • Please return to your car (we're not using the waiting room);

      • When the nurse is ready she will call you at the number you provided and ask you to meet her in the foyer of the clinic;

      • She will take your temperature;

      • Once we verify you do not have a fever she will bring you back for your appointment;

        • If you are found to have a fever we will be converting your appointment to a telemedicine appointment - you can simply return to your car and we can do the appointment from your car via our telemedicine application.

    • If you are sick (just so everyone is aware we're not allowing anyone with a fever, significant lower respiratory symptoms or any positive travel or exposure history into the clinic - those are all being performed via telemedicine at this point in time) but we are here and able to treat most other issues in the clinic.

      • Please sanitize your hands at the kiosk in the foyer.  Wait 30 seconds for the sanitizer to take effect;

      • If you have any lower respiratory symptoms please inform the front desk staff and a mask will be provided to you (we had to do this as patients were taking a handful of them at a time when masks were in the foyer kiosk and masks are in critically short supply);

      • Check in at the front desk;

      • Provide the front desk staff with your cell phone number;

      • Return to your car (again, we're not using the waiting room);

      • When the nurse is ready she will call you at the number you provided and ask you to meet her in the foyer of the clinic;

      • She will take your temperature;

      • Once we verify you do not have a fever she will bring you back for your appointment;

        • If you are found to have a fever we will be converting your appointment to a telemedicine appointment - you can simply return to your car and we can do the appointment from your car via our telemedicine application.

  • Your physician is wearing a mask during all visits (just so you're not caught off guard when they walk in with a mask on)

Are we testing for COVID-19 in the office?

No. The CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health (GADPH) are both recommending anyone that is concerned they may have or believe they may have COVID-19 do not visit healthcare facilities (unless of course they are experiencing severe, emergent or rapidly deteriorating symptoms / conditions in which case those individuals should call 911 or call ahead to the nearest emergency room to convey details surrounding the situation and advise they are in route).  This policy is in place to protect the public and healthcare workers who need to stay healthy to care for patients during this time.

Piedmont Healthcare has drive-through testing in place.  Please click the link on our home page for details.

 

GADPH has deployed state-operated COVID testing sites throughout the state and have an online screening tool to be used by physicians and healthcare workers in establishing if patients qualify for testing at those sites.  We are actively using this process for our patients.  GADPH is working on setting up high-capacity drive-through test centers but these are not operational just yet.

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Things to keep in mind - progression of symptoms

  • Always call 911 without delay if you are having or believe you are experiencing a medical emergency;

  • Always visit an emergency room without delay if your are experiencing severe symptoms.  If possible, please have someone drive you and call the emergency room before you enter the facility to let them know you are coming, what your symptoms are and to convey your exposure history.  The emergency room personnel will provide you with specific guidance from there.  If you have access to one you should wear a mask upon entering and throughout the duration of your time spent in any acute-care facility;

  • Patients age 65 and above should not visit any healthcare facilities at this time unless they are experiencing severe symptoms or in any event your need is severe or emergent in nature (please consult your physician for specific guidance if this applies to you).

The most up to date information about COVID-19 "Coronavirus"

It is our opinion the best sources of information about COVID-19 are the following resources:

1. The Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) - their website is:  https://www.cdc.gov/

2. Georgia Department of Public Health (GADPH) - their website is:  https://dph.georgia.gov/

3. Piedmont Healthcare - their website is:  https://www.piedmont.org/patients-visitors/coronavirus

    Piedmont has an excellent and up-to-date Q&A section appearing on their site.

Vinings Medical Center, P.C.   2255 Cumberland Parkway SE   Building 1400   Atlanta, GA 30339   TEL: 770.955.9477