GREAT FALLS — Great Falls Clinic is doing all they can to stay prepared for the coronavirus. While there are still no confirmed cases in Cascade County, the clinic is trying to stay ahead of the curve by taking precautions such as pre-screening patients before they visit the clinic.
(NOTE: Three cases were confirmed in Cascade County several hours after this article was posted; click here for details)
Any patient that may be showing symptoms of a possible infection should contact the clinic before they come in.
Samantha Shinaberger of Great Falls Clinic Hospital says that she expects an increase in patients: “We have seen somewhat of a drop off because of the social distancing that’s being encouraged right now of course we anticipate that there will be an influx eventually in the upcoming future if we get cases here in cascade county, we anticipate a serge happening here at the hospital,” said Shinaberger.
She said they are taking necessary precautions.
Shie said, “Every time a patient enters the building they will be pre-screened so we are screening for COVID-19 we are screening for any up respiratory symptoms and then we are separating the ill patients from the well patients to encourage all our well patients to still see their doctor as usual and then our sick patients are being encouraged to go to the northwest clinic or the emergency department depending on their needs.”
The hospitals biggest priority is the safety of everyone.
“So, we really want our patients to know they are safe and to feel safe and to still come to their appointments a lot of our patients have chronic conditions, diabetes that they need to get checked still and come in,” she added.
The Great Falls Clinic is also implementing new ways to keep social distancing apart of everyone routine.
“We are working on a social distancing platform that would be telehealth we hope to have that launched next week so patients no longer feel like they have to leave their house when they are being encouraged to stay home.”
The Great Falls Clinic has announced effective Monday, March 23rd they will be offering the ability for patients to have a telephone or video appointment with their provider.
“This is one of the many steps we are taking to be proactive during this time. We want to give our patients as many options as possible and promote patient safety,” stated Vicki Newmiller, CEO of the Great Falls Clinic.
Medicare and Medicaid will be covering this service the same as they would an in-person office visit. Many private insurers are also covering these services as well, however, they encourage all patients to check with their own insurance to determine whether a telephone appointment will be covered.
You can make changes to an existing appointment, or schedule an appointment by calling the clinic at 406-454-2171 or by using your patient portal.
Some appointments are unavailable via telehealth, examples include radiology and laboratory.
They also added if you are not signed up with patient portal, you can contact them at the portal hotline at 406-771-3031 or send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.