SouthernMED Updates regarding COVID-19
We are in this together and are adjusting wherever we can to provide top notch care to your family. First we will be open for our regular Saturday hours at our Lake Murray location from 9-12 on Saturday. Additionally, we will be able to provide telehealth services from 8 am - 8 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Thank you for trusting us with the care of your children.
Parents - If your child is scheduled for a well check and has had any of the following symptoms during the 36 hours prior to the visit, please call the office prior to coming in so that we may adjust your appointment accordingly. Symptoms include: fever, cough, congestion, sneezing, runny nose, shortness of breath, chest tightness and wheezing. Thank you so much for understanding the need for scheduling adjustments during this time.
As part of our effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a nurse may recommend a TeleVisit for your child. The easiest way to access this is through our patient portal app, Healow. TeleVisits can also be conducted via desktop, or laptop. The directions for downloading the app can be found here. We are asking our patients to go ahead and download this app so that you will be ready should you need a TeleVisit appointment. If you haven't signed into our patient portal before and you need assistance setting up your portal account, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and nclude the following information in your email: 1. Your child's name(s) 2. Your child's DOB(s) 3. The email address that you want to use to log in
In response to COVID-19, we wanted to keep our patients informed on what steps SouthernMED Pediatrics is taking to reduce exposure to our patients. These processes are in place through the end of March and we will re-evaluate them at that time.
1. We are screening all sick appointment requests for COVID-19 symptoms prior to scheduling them in our office.
2. We have adjusted our schedules to allow for well child checks and med checks in the mornings and sick visits only in the afternoons.
3. We are asking all sick patients to check in and then wait in their car until a nurse is ready to take them back.
4. Higher risk patients will be treated curbside from their vehicles rather than in our building.
5. Our offices are cleaned thoroughly each night and each exam room is cleaned between patients.
Please be aware that our nurses are experiencing high call volumes with additional time per call due to screening questions. It may take longer than usual for a nurse to return your call.
To all of our SouthernMED families
No doubt these are difficult and uncertain times so we want to let you know what we are doing at SouthernMED to serve your family with care throughout the upcoming weeks. COVID-19 has certainly proved to be a fluid situation that has required every one of us to look at our daily lives. As such we have been doing the same at each of our community offices to ensure you get the safest, top-quality care that you have come to expect from us. Thus we have the following updates:
1. Telephone triage – we have placed a hold on all online scheduling capability so that we can effectively screen all callers in hopes to contain any high-risk patients for COVID-19. Obviously this means a significant increase in our telephone calls and we are adjusting staff to ensure prompt response however we do ask that you understand this may mean a slight increase in wait times. Additionally we ask that you do not WALK-IN for a sick visit without first speaking to one of our clinical care members on the phone.
2. Telehealth – effective Monday, March 16, we will have the ability to provide HIPAA-compliant telehealth services for our patients who are considered at increased risk for COVID-19. If sufficient criteria is met for concern then each of these patients will be referred to DHEC or local testing sites for further evaluation.
3. Office measures – all offices are evaluating and adjusting for minimized patient movement and engagement. Thus when you come to one of our offices the flow may be different or you may be asked to go to an all together different location in on-going efforts. Of course office cleaning will remain at it’s usual high level of care and cleanliness.
4. Extended Care – this will continue to serve the families of our community with no interruption.
So how can you help…
Call us or send us a message with your questions. Our desire has always been to partner with you to provide the best quality care to your family so we are here with you always.
2. Limit the number of people who come in for visits. If you can only bring the patient(s) being seen with hopefully 1 parent or guardian this will be extremely helpful.
3. Talk to your children to ease their fears about COVID-19. Here is a great link for some talking points.
4. Please remain patient with us. These are challenging times and we have the care of your child(ren) at the cornerstone of what we do but there are obviously obstacles that we must and will overcome to do so. Additionally, should our communities face school and daycare closures we will have impact regarding our staffing and you may notice streamlined staffing, change in wait times, etc.
We are confident in our team to continue to provide your family with excellent care during the most difficult of times. We are also confident in our community leaders to help isolate and contain the spread of COVID-19 and are working diligently with them to do all we can to contribute. And moreover, we are confident in each of our families to respond to the daily life changes that are occuring for this season as we all work together to combat the effects of COVID-19. As always please do not hesitate to reach out to our offices with any questions or concerns.