Physicians in Manhattan have made significant changes to adapt to the current COVID-19 reality in the community. Dr. Ryan Knopp, from Stonecreek Family Physicians, has reported the initiatives Stonecreek started discussing and putting in place over the last month in preparation for a local medical response. This included workflow alterations, surface sanitizing procedures, posters and signage, and patient education in what he has called “Phase 1” of the plan.
On March 15, the facility moved into Phase 2. New procedures included drive-through appointments for those needing to be evaluated and swabbed by a provider; an extensive phone triage system; extra support staff for phone triage; new workflows for high-risk patents; and telemedicine visits.
As of March 22, Stonecrek’s response has moved into Phase 3. This includes the following protocols:
1. Telemedicine is used for ALL acute visits involving fever, respiratory, or GI symptoms. They find that 90-95% of acute issues can be handled via a tele-visit through their app. If they feel a patient needs a swab, a lab, or in person visit, they can convert to that and arrange it at their office.
2. Rescheduling non-essential visits down the road 6-8 weeks.
3. Converting certain follow-ups to tele-visits. Many appointments designed to review chronic health problems and medications can be handled via tele-visit.
4. Dedicated screenings at the front door before entrance into building, asking all pertinent screening questions and taking temperatures.
5. Drive-through appointments are still functioning for flu and COVID-19 swabs.
6. They are striving to make their office a "safe zone,” and simply cannot take a break from caring for the many health issues that arise for patients day to day. They still must be able to see patients in a safe fashion inside the walls of their clinic. Many safeguards and protocols are in place to accommodate this.
7. New ideas continue to flow from their dedicated providers and staff – including a creating a new drive-through lab draw station
Dr. Knopp and the physicians who make up the MHK Clinical Response Task Force are dedicated to providing the safest care for patients. The Stonecreek staff motto, Concern, Care, Confidence includes being Concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic, but not panicked. They are dedicated to providing Care for everyone, those who are acutely ill and those with chronic health needs. Finally, they have Confidence in our abilities to overcome this pandemic together.