By Reader Staff
During the past few months, many patients may have missed an important wellness exam, regular diabetes monitoring, dental care or mental health appointment. As the state of Idaho begins its phased return to “normal,” Kaniksu Health Service has begun reopening all its services. This includes treatment for patients whose care has been postponed.
The organization follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and takes the following precautions to keep both staff and patients safe as they enter the clinics:
• Exam rooms will be cleaned and sanitized between every patient.
• Staff will wear appropriate personal protective equipment at all times.
• All social distancing guidelines will remain in place.
• Patients and staff will be screened upon entrance to buildings for COVID-19 symptoms and have their temperature checked.
• Wearing of masks or cloth face coverings is required of all patients.
• Patients will either be asked to wait in their vehicles for their appointment, or in the waiting rooms, which have been set up for appropriate social distancing.
• Waiting rooms will be sanitized throughout the day.
• Patients will be screened by phone for COVID-19 symptoms before in-office appointments.
Patients are strongly encouraged to come alone to their appointment to limit the number of people in the office at any one time. Minors or other patients requiring assistance will be allowed one visitor. The visitor will be screened the same as a patient.
The phase-in of services will continue to expand during the next months, with a focus on stringent measures to protect patients, staff and the community from COVID-19, including keeping well and sick patients separated.
KHS stated that it will remain flexible in meeting the needs of our patients in the safest way possible. “We encourage those patients who are uncomfortable coming into a clinic, or are in a high risk category, to call to discuss whether a telehealth appointment is right for you,” the organization stated.
“As we enter our phased reopening, we are happy to be able to provide all of our usual services once again,” said John Seaman, M.D., KHS chief medical officer. “We are still concerned about assuring the safety of our staff and patients, even as we open to accommodate all of your usual health care needs. To that end, we will continue to implement measures for infection control including the use of appropriate PPE and segregation of sick and well visits. We appreciate your cooperation and patience as we do our best to provide the best possible care in the safest environment we can create.”
As Idaho progresses through the phases of reopening, KHS officials said they will “continue to adhere to the recommendations put forth by state and national agencies, including the CDC, so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued, especially during this rapidly changing pandemic.”
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, visit kaniksuhealthservices.org.
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