As businesses begin to open up, you may wonder if it’s safe to visit your dentist, eye doctor, or healthcare provider. The following information should be considered as you make your decision.
If you’re planning a visit to your dentist or eye doctor, make sure the following practices are in place within their offices:
Finally, if your appointment isn’t an emergency, and you are not comfortable visiting your eye doctor or dentist during this time, consider postponing your appointment. Your provider wants the best for you as their patient and will work with you to meet your needs.
While hospitals did not close during the initial onset of COVID-19, available services such as surgeries became limited or ceased. On the clinical side of healthcare, services were paused in most areas except for emergency services. During what appears to be our new normal, healthcare facilities have implemented a series of protective measures to best serve their patients. Below is a list of ways Iowa Specialty Hospitals & Clinics is protecting you while we continue to bring you the best in healthcare.
Appointment & Screening Options
Please call ahead before coming to any of our locations. We will assess your situation to determine if you need to be seen. If you arrive at our clinics without scheduling an appointment first, you may be asked to return to your car to schedule an appointment. (This does not include emergent situations.)
A curbside clinic has been implemented at our Belmond campus for patients with symptoms of respiratory illness* requiring swab testing. Patients should call their Iowa Specialty Hospital provider’s clinic to be assessed over the phone and directed to the most appropriate visit option. This may include a telehealth visit with your provider who will determine your need. If necessary, an appointment for the curbside clinic will be scheduled. Upon arrival, a nurse will come to the patient's vehicle to proceed with the testing. *This clinic is for patients with a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or other respiratory illness symptoms. If at any time shortness of breath seems severe or life-threatening, patients should be seen in an emergency room.
An acute respiratory clinic has been established at our Belmond campus. This clinic is for patients who do not pass the current screening requirements and based on their illness or telehealth visit need to have a more comprehensive evaluation. To ensure safety, patients will be directed to a designated area of the facility for their respiratory clinic appointment. A nurse will come to the patient’s vehicle, provide them with a mask, and then escort them to the testing area within the facility.
A curbside lab has been established at the Clarion campus in the blue lot on the west side of the building. The goal is to minimize social interaction for patient safety. Patients will remain in their vehicles for the blood draw collection. Supplies will also be provided for urine specimens to collect at home and return for evaluation. The curbside lab is not for patients with respiratory illness symptoms.
Telehealth allows a patient to essentially have a clinic appointment in the comfort of their own home when appropriate for their healthcare needs. The majority of all Iowa Specialty Hospital healthcare services are available via telehealth. Through virtual appointments, you will connect with your provider in real-time.The options for requesting your appointment include either calling your Iowa Specialty Hospital healthcare clinic of choice or messaging your provider’s team through MyChart. Telehealth brings you the same great care you’ve come to expect now in the comfort of your home, giving a new spin on the traditional house call.
Internal Protective Measures
Patients, visitors, and staff are screened at the entrances to all of our facilities. Screenings include answering a serious of COVID related questions and having temperatures taken.
Personal Protective Equipment
Patients, visitors, and staff must wear a face mask when onsite. Where necessary other PPE is worn by staff based on patient interactions.
Clear plastic barriers have been installed at registration desks as an additional layer of protection for patients and staff.
Waiting Room Changes
Our waiting rooms have been rearranged to provide social distancing among patients.
Although we always pride ourselves in the care of our facilities, we have added additional cleaning processes especially to high-touch areas and patient care settings.
We realize the benefits of having another individual accompany a patient to their appointment or having visitors during a hospital stay. However, it’s been necessary to put visitor restrictions in place. We ask all clinic patients to attend their appointments alone. Inpatients are allowed one support person throughout their stay.
We understand that some of these changes are not easy to get used to, but we appreciate your understanding and patience as we work through our new “normal for now”. As always, we thank you for choosing Iowa Specialty Hospitals and Clinics for all of your healthcare needs.