FEATURED PHOTO: AKRAM BOUTROS, CEO METROHEALTH SYSTEM
Ideastream.org, By Kabir Bhatia-WKSU, Posted April 30th 2020
Cleveland-based MetroHealth facilities will resume some in-person appointments starting Monday, but will still be taking precautions to protect patients and staff amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The hospital system halted most non-emergency visits last month in preparation for a possible surge of COVID-19 cases. But spokesman Mike Tobin says Ohio has not been hit as hard as places like Seattle and New York, so they have enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on hand to resume preventative care.
“MetroHealth – like most healthcare systems – put those off out of an abundance of caution. We wanted to free up our caregivers to get ready to treat COVID-19 patients. We wanted to make sure we had enough PPE. It was all these things that were done in March when we were preparing for a worst-case scenario like we’re seeing in New York or Seattle.”
Still, he says online visits are likely here to stay.
“We were able to ramp up TeleHealth in a few weeks in ways that we thought would have taken months or years. So there’s no going back from that. But at the same time, there are certain things that you have to go to the doctor for and they need to physically touch a patient, look them in the eye, talk to them, examine them and discuss their symptoms.”
Tobin adds that as part of check-in for in-person visits, patients will now have their temperature taken and be screened for respiratory symptoms. Face masks will also be required.