By Cherry Odom, BSN, RN-BC
Who would have thought that a trip to the doctor’s office would require safety precautions? Mission Health primary care providers across western North Carolina now offer several options to meet your healthcare needs and support your safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
See You on the Computer
Virtual, or telehealth, visits and in-office care are offered by most primary care providers. “Patients may use a smartphone or computer with a camera to have a virtual visit,” said Matthew Buchanan, Director of Operations for the Physician Services Group. “If the patient doesn’t have either of these devices, a phone call visit can be scheduled.”
Most insurances provide at least some coverage for telehealth visits. Patients should check with their primary care office for cost and with their insurance provider to get details for their situation.
“We plan to offer telehealth visits into the future, well past the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Buchanan. “We hope to see some of the telehealth waivers become permanent with expanded coverage, as our goal is to see patients in the way they want and need to be seen.”
Going to the Office
When office visits are appropriate, staff and care providers take extra precautions to protect patients. “We have stringent procedures to ensure patients are safe,” said Buchanan. “We appropriately limit traffic within the practice office. We clean and sanitize all patient waiting rooms, exam rooms and other care areas.”
When patients and any visitors enter the practice, staff use a questionnaire to screen for potential COVID-19 symptoms. When appropriate, they are given masks.
Staff wear masks. Appropriate hand-hygiene options are available. Both alcohol-based hand sanitizer and hand soap are provided for patients and staff.
Walk-In Care with Mission My Care Now
With five locations available in Biltmore Park, Haywood, McDowell, Franklin and Spruce Pine, Mission My Care Now offers the convenience of walk-in, nonemergency daytime, after-hours and weekend care. Conditions treated include:
• Allergies and asthma
• Anxiety and depression
• Stabilizing chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension
• Colds and flu
• Flu shots
• Minor injuries
• Muscle and joint pain
• Sinus infections
• Stomach pain
• Urinary tract infectionsTo learn more, visit missionhealth.org/my-care-now .
Matthew Buchanan, MBA, is Director of Operations for Mission Health’s Physician Services Group.