What to expect at the doctor’s office during the COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

CAMILLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Telemedicine has served as a great benefit for doctors and patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but as New York State continues to reopen, medical professionals want patients to know the office is open and they’re ready to treat you.

It’s no surprise during the pandemic, people’s willingness to have their annual checkup or regular doctor’s appointment is at a low.

St. Joseph’s Medical Group wants to reassure patients that it is safe, and they want to exam you in person.

We’ve been excited getting to see more patients come back to the office for more in person, face to face visits.

Dr. Ryan Planer, Family Physician at St. Joseph’s Medical Center

However, that trip will look different, all in an effort to keep you and the staff safe, as we are still in the midst of the pandemic.

The first thing patients are going to do before making their way inside the office is have their temperature taken, followed by a screening with COVID-19 related questions.

“Once you come in, you’re going to be seeing X’s on the floors, and that’s really to social distance people as they stand in the check-in counter or in busy areas of our waiting room,” said Julianne Himes, St. Joseph’s Medical Group’s Chief Operating Officer.

Other safety measures include:

  • Chairs in the waiting room will be socially distanced
  • Patients will be brought back to their exam room as quickly as possible
  • Appointments between patients will be evenly spread
  • Ability to have patients wait in their cars if there happens to be an influx of people
  • Hand sanitizing stations spread throughout the medical center
  • Regular cleaning of exam rooms

“There’s also a hallway that the patients go in and there’s another hallway that the staff works out of. Each exam room has two doors. So, the patients come in and out one door and the staff go in and out their same door, but with COVID, what it really helps is keeping staff in their corridors and the patients so they can rest assured when they’re coming in, they are only contacting the area that they are coming through,” explained Himes.

I think now we have our process really well-honed to keep patients safe and get them back in the office to see us and ask their questions and have their medical issues addressed.

Dr. Ryan Planer, Family Physician at St. Joseph’s Medical Center

Navigating how to best treat patients during the pandemic has been no easy task, but the medical staff at St. Joe’s is happy to give patients the care and medical guidance in person again.

St. Joseph’s Medical Group will also continue telemedicine appointments throughout and after the pandemic indefinitely.

They want patients to know that virtual appointments are still an option, especially for those who might not feel comfortable making the trip to the doctors office just yet.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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