Stepping up to help flatten the curve
STOCKTON – As the coronavirus continues to spread in our community, our highest priority remains the health and well-being of our patients and staff.
As a critical medical and behavioral health provider for the most vulnerable members of society, our work cannot be put on hold, even as one of our own medical providers is quarantined after testing positive for COVID19. Under the guidance of local and national public health partners, we are doing everything we can to minimize exposure to the virus for both patients and staff, and have moved to a predominantly telephone visit model of care at this time.
“We are stepping up to help flatten the curve and keep our hospitals from being overwhelmed,” CEO Christine Noguera said. “I am so proud of our caring staff working together to develop new processes, work flows and tools to ensure we continue to meet the health needs of our patients safely. Just two weeks ago, we had never done a medical visit by phone. Yesterday our great teams documented 881 telephone visits!”
Community Medical Centers has always provided telephone support to our patients, but was not compensated for this service in the past. Newly enacted California legislation allows community health centers to bill for telephone visits during times of emergency, a critically important change during the COVID-19 crisis.
New screening procedures have been implemented so that symptomatic patients are assessed by phone and directed appropriately, reserving tests for those who need them most.
“This has helped many concerned patients–including the worried well–connect with a medical professional without having to venture outside,” said Ginger Manss, RN, Chief Nursing Officer. “It is wonderful to see everything our staff members are doing to care for our patients, families and each other.”
For patients who must visit in person (such as children who need immunizations or individuals with dental emergencies), schedules have been adjusted to treat well patients in the morning and those with symptoms in the afternoons.
“Community Medical Centers is here to serve our community,” said Dr. Benjamin Morrison, Chief Medical Officer. “We appreciate the support our community continues to show us during this difficult time.”
About Community Medical Centers
Community Medical Centers is a network of neighborhood health centers serving over 100,000 patients in San Joaquin, Solano and Yolo Counties. We offer integrated medical, dental, behavioral health, and supportive services, all using a model that puts the patient at the center of the care team. Working together, we improve health and well-being in our communities. To learn more about CMC, visit www.CommunityMedicalCenters.org