Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital joins others across the state and nation in implementing measures to keep patients and staff safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Thomas Wells is the Regional Medical Director of Primary Care for Athens.
“One of the things we did first was actually move into an in-person clinic model where we had offices doing telemedicine visits and were only seeing in-person visits at several sites” according to Wells. “Because of this we were able to do screenings and get the processes and protocols for those screenings and what it would take to make sure we did it correctly.”
Wells says they’ve move those processes back to provider’s offices now that the state has reopened.
The facility follows CDC protocols when seeing patients. Patients are called and screened before their appointments, temperatures are taken and they are asked to come alone when possible. They are allowed one caregiver, if necessary. They must also wear masks.
“So we’re not using the waiting rooms at this point, you wait in your car, we bring you straight in to a room that’s been cleaned appropriately between each patient. We’re following a playbook that’s close to 26-something pages long, on how to keep us safe.”
The hospital’s Telemedicine capacity has really been enhanced.
“What probably should have been a two-to three-year rollout for Telemedicine was compiled in about a month.”
Piedmont Athens joins other healthcare facilities in the Piedmont systems taking the precautions/using the safety procedures.